Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's Death Reports A Hoax? No Official Confirmation Of His Death So Far

Rahul Srinivas

Earlier today, several news organizations, including the Inquisitr, reported about the death of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi supposedly in a U.S.-led airstrike. However, even several hours after the initial reports trickled in, there has not been any official communication from the U.S. government or U.S. military officials confirming or denying the veracity of these reports.

In fact, people have started questioning these reports a few hours after they first appeared because of the silence of the U.S. administration over such an important development. Such a lukewarm response (or the total lack of any response at all) over the reports of the death of such an important figure was not seen as normal by most people.

— (((Jett Goldsmith))) (@JettGoldsmith) June 14, 2016

"Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by coalition air strikes on Raqqa on the fifth day of Ramadan (10 June)."

— Aymenn J Al-Tamimi (@ajaltamimi) June 12, 2016

Several media outlets also claimed that the Amaq news agency run by ISIS was behind the official statement that appeared on the image. The same agency had a day ago claimed that it was behind the Orlando massacre and the recent stabbings in Paris. However, they did not issue any statement pertaining to al-Baghdadi. The official radio of the Islamic State, al-Bayan, also did not make any reference to Baghdadi.

Meanwhile, some form of response from the military was seen after a spokesperson for the U.S. Central Command revealed that they were aware of the news of al-Baghdadi's death. Also conspicuous by its absence was an official statement from the U.S. Department of Defense which has had a history of announcing successful military strikes against high-profile targets.

Little is known about al-Baghdadi, who is believed to be a 44-year-old man born in Iraq. He was earlier known as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai and was born in the town of Samarra in Iraq. More than a decade ago, al-Baghdadi was briefly in U.S. custody. He was, however, let off after they found him to be a "low level" prisoner. Less than a decade later, he would go on to lead the Islamic State and its group of fighters which has gone on to capture a large swathe of land across the Middle East. The Islamic State now controls over 2 million people, all of which are subject to a strict interpretation of the Islamic Sharia law.

Baghdadi has also declared himself the leader of all the Muslims across the planet and enjoys the support of several terrorist groups who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The ultimate aim of the Islamic State is to establish an Islamic caliphate across the world.

[AP Photo]