JD: Ken, the Islamic State leader Al Baghdadi is alive and well. An appearance by Al Baghdadi via a video 5 years after the last time we saw him and Islamic State is still working and very involved in their activities to set up a worldwide caliphate. Most recent they’ve been involved in what happened in Sri Lanka there. Talk to us about Al Baghdadi. Is he a danger?
KT: He is and this is very similar to what Osama bin Laden did. Don’t forget he eluded capture for nearly a decade after the September 11th attacks. And you’re absolutely right the fact that he reappears makes this video and it looks authentic 5 years after his last one, him and this undefined location announcing that he still commands ISIS and that ISIS still commands followers all across the world and they’re not finished in Syria or Iraq. All of this is extremely troubling.
JD: They do not have any geographical headquarters for their caliphate. How be it a journalist that I know in Israel wrote a book a couple of years ago, A Virtual Caliphate. He was talking about using the internet. Looks like they are going to the internet to keep this network and set up their worldwide caliphate anyways aren’t they?
KT: Well for sure, they are doing that. There’s no doubt about that. The attacks on Sri Lanka on Easter certainly show they command followers far away, Muslims who pledge allegiance to ISIS over the internet. But I think his reappearance here in this video suggest that he also has assets on the ground in Iraq. Those assets have been keeping him alive for the past 5 years as he has been literally the most hunted man on the planet.
JD: Ken Timmerman explaining how the Islamic State leader Al Baghdadi is alive and well and more dangerous then he’s ever been.