“I married a normal person, a university lecturer. He was great and the children’s ideal father. He was a teacher while he was with children. He knew how to deal with children.”
These are the words of Saja al-Dulaimi, former wife of ISIS Chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who has been reportedly killed in an air strike carried out by US-led coalition on Monday.
“This person was one of us. He was raised and fed among us.
He is described by people who knew him in Baghdad as “calm” and as someone who wouldn’t attempt to draw attention to himself.
He is extremely intelligent. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from a university in Baghdad,” Ali Hashem, the chief correspondent for Al Mayadeen news channel, who has made a fifty-minute documentary about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said.
A man who was fondly called “Maradona” by his fellow inmates for his mesmerizing skills with the football, while he was in Bucca detention camp run by US military, in Iraq.
The outer world later saw him as the ruthless leader of the world’s most dangerous terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who often surfaces in threatening videos calling for jihad and Caliphate all across the globe. It is very difficult even for his companions to cope up with the reality that he reached the top position of the most terrifying outfit within such short period.
According to a BBC report he was born in 1971, in Samarra, north Baghdad.
Baghdadi spent his early life as cleric in a mosque.
His life changed drastically after he moved to Baghdad from his village for higher studies.
The US occupation of Iraq in 2004 devastated his family and professional life and he ended up in a US detention camp.
The time in prison with many Al-Qaeda terrorists changed his outlook mind transformed him into a fanatic who wanted to bring Caliphate rule back in all Arab countries along with the other parts of the world.
His association with the banned terrorist outfit in Iraq, Jeish Ahl al-Sunnah al-Jamaah also influenced him. It was his prison mates and companions who helped him all out the way, after his release fromAl-Qaeda detention camp in 2004.
It is believed that the intelligent Al- Baghdadi made the best use of this connection to have a better understanding of the terror group’s functioning.
His jail friends like Hajji Abu Bakr, a member of the Iraqi army GH made his journey easier, to get in touch with the top brass of the terror group.
This journey ended up in him being the chief of the terror group overnight.
According to the sources, his meeting with Dr. Ismail al-Badri, who was the leader of the currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood was the first instance in his life to get radicalized.
However, afterwards he severed his relation since he found it less-militant in the nature and more into theoretical Islam.
What he wanted was to bring about the change in Middle East and other parts of the word, through the sword.
In the initial days of his emergence as ISIS leader, he was in the news after he negated the leadership of Al- Zawahiri of Al-Qaeda.
There was even a war of words among these two leaders upon who is the real Khalifa of the “Islamic world.”
There has not been any news that whether he is still alive or dead after he was seriously injured in a military attack led by US military coalition in Syria, few months back.
There was rumour that he was killed earlier this year.
However, he surfaced in an ISIS video published online last May, in which he urged Muslims around the world to emigrate to his ‘Caliphate’ and to fight against the non-believers.
If reports of Baghdadi’s death are true, it would be a major milestone in US led coalition’s fight against ISIS in West Asia.