The Islamic State (ISIS) group has released a video of a man it says is its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, vowing to seek revenge for its loss of territory.
Baghdadi has not been seen since 2014, when he proclaimed from Mosul the creation of a “caliphate” across parts of Syria and Iraq.
In this new footage, Baghdadi acknowledges defeat at Baghuz, the group’s last stronghold in the region.
As of writing, it is not clear when the video was recorded.
The group says it was shot in April.
The footage was posted on the militant group’s al-Furqan media network.
A US State Department spokesman said the tapes would be inspected by analysts to ascertain their authenticity, adding that the US-led coalition remains committed to ensuring any IS “leaders who remain are delivered the justice that they deserve”.
Video Courtesy: CBS News
Baghdadi says the Easter Sunday Sri Lanka attacks were carried out as revenge for the fall of the Syrian town of Baghuz.
He also says that he has had pledges of allegiance from militants in Burkina Faso and Mali, and talks about the protests in Sudan and Algeria – claiming that jihad is the only solution to “tyrants”.
Both countries have seen their long-term rulers overthrown this month.