For the first time since July 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has shown his face in a new video, in which he justified the bombings in Sri Lanka and praised those who have joined the terrorist group.

Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence, tweeted out the the interpretation of al-Baghdadi’s words.

The numerous bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killed almost 300 people, including many Christians at Easter Mass. Two days later, ISIS took responsibility and released a video of the supposed six suicide bombers.

Al-Baghdadi said in the video that ISIS bombed Sri Lanka in retaliation for the defeat of the terrorist group in “Baghouz, their last stronghold in Syria, and refers to the recent oustings of leaders in Algeria and Sudan, meaning that the video must have been shot within the last week.”

Al-Baghdadi also said that “[T]he war of Islam and its followers against the crusaders and their followers is a long one.” He then praised the “foreign fighters from who joined the group and calls on supporters to attack the ‘crusaders’ – specifically France.”

Katz pointed out that it is not coincidence that al-Baghdadi has shown up now. His ability “to reemerge to his supporters and reaffirm the group’s us-vs-the-world message after all the progress made against the group.”

I didn’t like that President Donald Trump declared the defeat of ISIS in January because you cannot fully eliminate these terrorist groups. Their ideology remains. Sure the coalition against ISIS has weakened the terrorist group, but they still remain out there. Remember Osama bin Laden? We killed him, but al-Qaeda still exists. Weakened, more so than ISIS, but they can still bring in more people.

 
 
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