Is Baghdadi dead or alive?
Sept 29, Baghdad: Islamic State has released what appears to be an audio recording of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is thought to be dead as he hasnt been seen since 2014.
A speaker who sounds like the IS leader seems to refer to recent North Korean threats against Japan and the US.
He also talks of battles for IS strongholds like Mosul, which was regained by Iraqi forces in July.Baghdadi, who has a $25m (£19m) US bounty on his head, has not been seen in public since July 2014, leading to much speculation about his fate.
The last time he appeared was to preach at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul after IS overran the city and a "caliphate" was proclaimed.
The 46-minute recording was posted by a website with links to the group and is the first such speech to appear since November.
In June, Russia reported that it was "highly likely" Baghdadi had been killed in a Russian air force strike on Raqqa on 28 May, and an Iranian official asserted he was "definitely dead" shortly afterwards.
However, claims of his death had been made before and the new reports were treated with scepticism by US
The Oslo Times International News Network