Tal Afar – The Islamic State has executed a top leader whose slip of a tongue revived suspicions that the group’s runaway leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, might have been killed.
Alsumaria News quoted a local source on Sunday that saying Abu Qutaiba was burned to death in the group’s stronghold town of Tal Afar, shortly after his arrest over charges of “stirring sedition” through a Friday prayer sermon in which he inadvertently suggested Baghdadi’s possible demise.
Earlier, the group ordered a punishment of 50 lashes for whoever brings up the issue of the survival of Baghdadi, a local source told the network, adding that the move came to avert a possible exacerbation of simmering conflicts of leadership.
Baghdadi’s only appearance was in a video clip showing him making the sermon proclaiming the establishment of an Islamist “caliphate” in the Old City’s Grand Nuri Mosque in June 2014, and never showed up again. Speculations and clashing reports about his whereabouts and survival have been plenteous.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared on Thursday Islamic State’s defeat in western Mosul Old City, the group’s last bastion in the city from where it first declared its establishment in 2014.
Russia said last month it was 100% of his death.