- "There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State... joining [its fight] is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons [to fight] wherever you are. Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels. "
- "Abu Bakr al-Baghadi"
The U.S. government is offering a reward of $25 million in exchange for his capture or death. He is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, al-Baghdadi helped to found the militant group Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaah (JJASJ), in which he served as head of the sharia committee.
He was captured and taken to Camp Bucca in 2004 but was later released. He and his group joined the Muhidjeen Shura Council two years later. It was later renamed the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). In 2010 he was proclaimed its leader. As leader of ISI, al-Baghdadi was responsible for masterminding large-scale operations, such as the August 28, 2011 mosque suicide bombing in Baghdad that killed Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi.
In April 2013, he announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), because the group now moved into Syria. Disagreements between ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the al-Nusra Front formed, and in February 2014 al-Qaeda and ISIS split up.
On 14 June 2016 several Middle Eastern media outlets claimed that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a US airstrike in Raqqa on 12 June, but this is unconfirmed. It's now confirmed that Baghadi is still alive and are hiding in Mosul as of 1 November 2016, as the Iraq army is going into Mosul to kill or capture him. On 1 July, the last battle to retake Mosul began and Baghadi's status is still uncertin if he is dead or alive. On 9 July, Mosul were finally liberated from IS occupation by the Iraq forces and Baghadi's wereabouts are still unknown. On 11 July, Baghadi has been confirmed dead by Iraqi news agency Al Sumaria. However on September 2017 audio recording with Baghadi's voice had been brodcast. The Kurdish counter-terrorism official Lahur Talabany told Reuters he was "99 percent" sure Baghdadi was alive and hiding in Raqqa.[
As ISIS Leader
- According to many sources, al-Baghdadi's wife is/was Saja al-Dulaimi. The couple met online and married in 2000. Many sources from Iraq claim that he has at least 2 other wives.
- He has an 11-year-old son and an alleged 4-6-year-old daughter
- There have been many reports that al-Baghdadi has been killed. The most recent one has been from October 11, where the Iraqi Air Force claimed to have bombed his convoy. As of 1 November 2016, Baghadi is still alive. In June 2017 it's rumored that Baghadi were killed in a airstrike, but this hasn't been offically confirmed, until on 11 July 2017, Baghadi has been confirmed dead.