MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri), also known as Abu Dua, was born in 1971 in the city of Samarra in Iraq.
According to media reports, al-Baghdadi was brought up in a religious family. His relatives were famous preachers and specialists of the Arabic language, rhetoric and logic.
Al-Baghdadi received a PhD in Islamic law from the University of Baghdad.
During his time at the university, he became a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia).
After the Western coalition invaded Iraq in 2003, al-Baghdadi joined the Iraqi insurgents. In 2004, he went to jail and spent around a year in the Bucca Camp, a US prison in Iraq. After his release, he participated in activities of various terrorist groups of Islamist militants.
In 2010, al-Baghdadi became the leader of the Daesh of Iraq (ISI), affiliated with al-Qaeda (both terrorist organizations banned in Russia), following the death of its head Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. In 2013, al-Baghdadi announced the merging of the ISI with the al-Nusra Front, another al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist organization, outlawed in Russia, which has been active in Syria since 2012. The Nusra Front denied claims of joining Daesh, which led to the splitting up of al-Qaeda and the forming of Daesh in its current image.
On June 29, 2014, al-Baghdadi was proclaimed the caliph of Daesh, a "caliphate" created on the territories Daesh managed to seize in Syria and Iraq.
In October 2014, the Iraqi Air Forces carried out a strike against a transport convoy of al-Baghdadi, reportedly injuring him. According to media reports, in December 2015, al-Baghdadi left Turkey where he was allegedly receiving treatment, and moved to the Libyan city of Sirte.
In November 2016, the Iraqi military claimed that al-Baghdadi fled from Mosul during the government forces’ operation to re-capture the city, which has been controlled by terrorists since 2014.
In June 2016, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that al-Baghdadi was injured.
In December 2016, Fadhil Barwari, the commander of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces, said that al-Baghdadi was hiding in an underground bunker in Mosul.
Reports of al-Baghdadi’s death repeatedly appear in the world media. His death was reported in June and December 2016, April 2015 and November 2014. In April 2015, he was reported dead after an injury, and in October 2016, reports emerged that al-Baghdadi was poisoned. In January 2017, media reported that al-Baghdadi suffered heavy injuries in an airstrike.