The leader of Islamic State is no longer in control of the group's operations after being seriously injured in an air strike in Iraq, several sources have told The Guardian.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, considered to be one of the most powerful jihadi leaders in the world, was wounded during a coalition attack near the Syrian border in March, a Western diplomat and an Iraqi official have confirmed.
"The source said Baghdadi's wounds were at first life-threatening, but he has since made a slow recovery," the newspaper reports. "He has not, however, resumed day-to-day control of the organisation."
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Since the attack, strategic decisions have been made by other members of the terror group. The group's military and the Shura councils are said to be in control while al-Baghdadi recovers.
Al- Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua, is believed to be in his early 40s, according to the BBC. A secretive figure, he often dresses in disguise, earning him the nickname "the invisible sheikh". In 2011, the US offered a $10m reward for information leading to his capture or death.
The attack in which he was injured targeted local IS leaders and killed three other men, but Western officials are said to have been unaware that al-Baghdadi was part of the convoy.
"In recent months, air strikes have been increasingly effective in targeting the Isis leadership," says the Guardian. One of Baghdadi's closest aides, his deputy and the head of the group's military operations in Iraq were all killed in December.
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