The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces does not have information about the whereabouts of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia), Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Department (GRU) Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov told TASS on Friday.
“His whereabouts are unknown,” Kostyukov said on the sidelines of the 8th Moscow International Security Conference.
Kostykov said that it is very unlikely that al-Baghdadi is currently in Syria’s Idlib province or on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river.
“He is definitely not in Idlib. On the eastern bank of the Euphrates river, only ‘sleeper’ IS cells remain,” he noted.
Several media reported earlier that Al-Baghdadi lost control over the terrorist organization.
Some reports say that he suffers from a severe form of lung cancer, others say he is bed-bound after sustaining a serious injury. It was also reported by several sources that al-Baghdadi had already been killed.
Al-Baghdadi was last seen in public in July 2014, when he announced founding a “caliphate” in the Middle East during a Friday prayer in Iraq’s Mosul.