US Defense Secretary Mattis believes ISIS leader Baghdadi is still alive


baghdadiUS Defense Secretary James Mattis and other U.S. officials believe that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive and has a role in the insurgent group.

“I think Baghdadi is alive, I think he’s alive and I’ll believe otherwise when we know we’ve killed him, but we’re going after him,” Mattis said Friday. “We assume he is alive.”

He went on to say that “for obvious reasons we’re trying to track him pretty closely because he’s declared war on us, so he’s going to reap his reward for it.”

Asked whether he thought Baghdadi continues to have a command-and-control role, Mattis said, “I think he is alive, and that means he would have a role to play obviously in an organization that he leads. To define that role, is it operational? Is it strategic? Is it propaganda? Is it spiritual? Is it physical? I can’t define it, but until I see his body, I’m going to assume he is alive.”

In June, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said there was a “high degree of probability” that Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike at the end of May. CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan has noted that he hasn’t been heard from since late 2016. He has appeared in a video only once — speaking to supporters in a mosque in the heart of Mosul. That mosque was destroyed by ISIS in June.

SOCOM commander Tony Thomas said Friday that the U.S. has been close to Baghdadi a number of times, and on occasion did not know until after the fact.

Top counterterrorism official Nick Rasmussen is similarly unconvinced that Baghdadi is dead. The director of the National Counterterrorism Center said that he’s seen nothing that suggests he has been removed from the battlefield.

And although at this point, ISIS controls less territory than it once did, the U.S. still worries that a small number of skilled fighters could move out of the region and launch attacks in the West or in their homelands.

Rasmussen spoke Friday at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of intelligence and national security officials and experts in Aspen, Colorado.

CBS News’



11 responses to “US Defense Secretary Mattis believes ISIS leader Baghdadi is still alive”

  1. Ii Have a feeling Baghdadi is at the Kremlin having Vodka martini drink with Putin . Russia loves ISIS and pretends from time to time that it is targeting the group

    1. Danny Farah Avatar
      Danny Farah

      What difference does it make.. they killed Bin Laden and worse came out.. so so much wasted energy for nothing. he is nothing and we made him into untouchable Devil. the west, the gulf, russia, Iran and Syria all helped in establishing such groups. they are guilty and the minorities in the middle east got the brunt of it. Next the Shiites then the Sunnis. they all helped indirectly the Israelis grand scheme of dividing the middle east. we can blame the Isaelis of course but since we have so much hate among each other, Israel work was easy.

      1. Danny, please, leave alone tiny Israel

        1. Danny Farah Avatar
          Danny Farah

          No I won’t because this tiny Israel creating havoc and destruction like Iran, Daesh. I have not forgotten Ben Gurion idea of dividing Lebanon and installing a Christian General to protect their side of the border. I have not forgotten Israel dumping palestinians in the South. I have not forgotten Israeli taken in Al Nusra wounded to play that they care about human beings but Palestinians children are hauled to jail for protesting. No I cannot leave you alone until you do. I am even tougher on Syria and Iran mind you.

          1. Rudy1947 Avatar

            Actually installing a Christian General would have been a good idea, definitely better than Nasrallrat.
            I seem to remember Palestinians running like scared rabbits and Arafat sending Palestinians to Lebanon. Arafat had no respect for anyone.
            Humanitarian efforts by Israel……damned if you do and damned if you don’t. A sorry excuse to blame Israel for offering aid to Syria.
            Palestinian children doing what Mom and Dad consider desirable and the kids get caught. In other areas of the world they’re JDs.

          2. I think you do not see where the reasons are and where the consequences are

    2. Yes, because it was Russia who released him from prison in 2004.

  2. HAHAHAHA!!!

    Released from prison in 2004.

    Alive and well.

    Alive but maybe injured.

    Injured but somehow dead.

    Back to alive and well.

    Alive but not so well, maybe dead.

    Dead or injured.

    Injured but well.

    Dead for sure.

    Back to life and well.

    Little injured but almost dead.

    Back to well and alive.

    Somehow alive, little dead but mostly injured.

    Back to alive and scratching his dirty, not-so-kosher balls.

    Stay tuned for soon to be dead again.

    1. Show must go on

      1. As you said: show.

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