Senior US counterterror official says can't confirm Baghdadi killed

Senior US counterterror official says can't confirm Baghdadi killed

"I think Baghdadi's alive", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday, according to Military Times.

Like Baghdadi's fate, who will succeed him is also unclear.

"Until I see his body, I am going to assume he is alive", Mattis said Friday. We have information that he is alive.

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In July, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said it had "confirmed information" that Baghdadi had been killed. "Their sick agenda over National Security", Trump tweeted. The ministry noted it was in the process of confirming the information through various channels.

Despite an observer group saying Baghdadi has been killed, Defence Secretary James Mattis and other USA commanders are sceptical.

The Iraqi native has not been seen since making his only known public appearance as "caliph" in 2014 at the Grand Mosque of Al-Nuri in Mosul, which was destroyed in the battle for Iraq's second city. Barring evidence that Baghdadi continues to be engaged in the command and control of the organization, Mattis suggested the ISIS leader may have assumed a different role, such as a spiritual or propaganda leader within ISIS.

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"That was a very good lead". Tony Thomas at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, where he told Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge that a us special operations team failed to carry out a hit on Al-Baghdadi in 2015 after a lead was leaked.

The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Trump's tweet. The article shared information about al-Baghdadi's operations and his attempts to avoid capture by US forces, and quoted several high-ranking American officials, including a statement from an unnamed top senior State Department official, who told the newspaper: "Every single day the picture becomes clearer of what this organization is, how sophisticated it is, how global it is and how networked it is".

A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post, this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!

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