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'Caliph' sermon at Iraq mosque show of confidence: Experts

Published on Jul 6, 2014 4:31 PM
 

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The first appearance of self-proclaimed "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video shot in an Iraqi mosque illustrates the extent of his jihadist group's control and confidence, experts say.

Baghdadi, whose Islamic State (IS) group holds territory in both Iraq and Syria, called for Muslims to "obey" him during the prayer sermon at the Al-Nur mosque in Mosul on Friday, according to the video distributed online the following day.

The appearance was surprising for a militant who cultivated an image of a reclusive battlefield commander.

It is the latest in a series of moves that have brought IS back to prominence after it had been on the ropes - culminating in the offensive it led last month that captured chunks of Iraqi territory.

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. The first appearance of self-proclaimed "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video shot in an Iraqi mosque illustrates the extent of his jihadist group's control and confidence, experts say. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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