BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 A.M.) – The head of the Iraqi intelligence wing known as the “Hawk’s Cell” stated on Monday that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is currently hiding inside Syria and maintains a strong influence within the terrorist organization.
Speaking to the Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabaah, the Hawk’s Cell head Abu ‘Ali Al-Basri said that his intelligence wing discovered that Baghdadi was hiding inside Syria, where he is giving orders to his terrorists in the region.
“After Daesh’s military setbacks inside Iraq and Syria, there is a permanent threat to the criminal Ibrahim Al-Samarai (Baghdadi’s real name) who is currently based in Syria with his Arab and foreign followers,” Basri told the Iraqi online newspaper.
Basri added that Baghdadi has become incredibly paranoid about the intelligence leaks from within his own organization.
There have been several rumors about where the Islamic State leader is hiding, along with claims of his death.
Baghdadi, who seldom gives speeches, has been silent since his terrorist organization lost their last major stronghold in Syria to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Iraqi military intelligence apparatus previously stated that the Islamic State leader was hiding in the vast Badiya Al-Sham region of Syria, a claim that was supported by the Syrian military.
Despite these claims, the Islamic State has remained relatively active in both Syria and Iraq, often carrying out ambushes against the Syrian and Iraqi forces.