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Tikrit (Iraq) (AFP) - Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners on Wednesday, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days.
"All of Tikrit is in the hands of the militants," a police colonel said of the Salaheddin provincial capital, which lies roughly half way between Baghdad and Iraq's second city Mosul which fell on Tuesday.
Much of what is known of Baghdadi’s history is unconfirmed, while other information is disputed to such a degree that it’s nearly impossible to discern where fact meets Baghdadi’s rising myth.
Several facts, however, are clear: Baghdadi leads the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He is a shrewd strategist, a prolific fundraiser and a ruthless killer. The United States has a $10 million bounty on his head. He has thrown off the yoke of al-Qaeda command and just took his biggest prize yet in Mosul, an oil hub that sits at the vital intersection of Iraq, Turkey and Syria. And in just one year of grisly killing, he has in all likelihood surpassed even al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in international clout and prestige among Islamist militants.
Holding degrees in Islamic studies and history, he is believed to have been an Islamic preacher around the time of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The chaos of those months drove the 30-something into militancy, and he formed an armed group in eastern Iraq, one that reportedly never rose out of obscurity.
How ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the world’s most powerful jihadist leader
“I chose the command of God over the command that runs against it in the letter,” Baghdadi told al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri, who had tried to bring the rogue commander back into line.
Since, the power of Baghdadi, who some say may soon establish himself as emir of a new Islamic state, has only grown. As has that of ISIS.
But they Fled. Cowards.
They died so the rest of us can let crazy mofos take over Iraq???