LIGNET Analyst Fred Fleitz: Is Islamist Leader Dead or Alive?

Monday, 07 Jul 2014 11:03 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Before determining the purpose of a published video purportedly showing reported Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calling for jihad, intelligence experts must first determine whether it is actually Baghdadi, and if so, whether he is still alive, says intelligence analyst Fred Fleitz,

"Shortly after this video was posted, there were reports that he was severely injured in a battle on the Syria/Iraq border and retreated into Syria, and he may be incapacitated or dead," Fleitz, an analyst with the Washington-based intelligence and forecasting service Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET), said on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"This has to be confirmed before we go any further analyzing what this video means," he said Monday.

Al-Baghdadi is seen proselytizing at a mosque in a 20-minute video posted online last week. It's unclear whether the video is propaganda by the Iraqi government or whether the purported leader is alive and trying to legitimize himself as the leader of the terror group.

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