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The world’s most wanted terrorist leader has turned up on video for the first time in five years.

In his last public appearance, he delivered a sermon at the al-Nuri mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014. 

In the video released by the extremist group’s propaganda wing today,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi looking noticeably aged, acknowledged the defeat of ISIS in the group’s last stronghold in Syria but vowed a long battle ahead.

“The battle for Baghouz is over,” said the ISIL leader with a bushy grey beard and an assault weapon close by, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces had been blurred.

He furthermore claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attack.

“Your brothers in Sri Lanka have healed the hearts of monotheists [ISIL members] with their suicide bombings, which shook the beds of the crusaders during Easter to avenge your brothers in Baghouz,” he said.

The ISIS leader also noted that “brothers” of the fallen terrorists “will avenge that, as they will not forget as long as they have blood in their veins, and there will be a battle after this one.”

The terrorist leader currently faces a $25 million (USD) bounty for any information leading to his capture but has remained free even as Russian and American intelligence services continue to search for his whereabouts.

What do you think about the return of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Join the conversation by commenting below.