During a lunchtime meal, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and three of his top aides fell seriously ill due to being poisoned through the food they ate and have been moved to an unknown location under a strict veil of secrecy, according to a source for a Iraqi news agency.
Reports state that al-Baghdadi and three other ISIS leaders were poisoned in the Nineveh’s Be’aaj district in northern Iraq while the offensive on Mosul is due to commence. Shortly after the incident, ISIS militants conducted several arrests to determine who poisoned the self-appointed caliph; al-Baghdadi currently has a $10 million bounty on his head.
Just as the news of al-Baghdadi’s poisoning broke, Iraqi news media outlets reported that some senior ISIS commanders were among 16 militants killed when one of the ISIS leader’s explosive vest exploded during a meeting near Kirkuk. Iraqi news agencyAlsumaria reported:
“…[A]n explosion took place amid a meeting of ISIS members in al-Mahawes village in Hawija district (55 km southwest of Kirkuk). The explosion resulted in the killing of 16 members of the Islamic State group, including senior leaders, as well as wounding of 16 others. A number of the ISIS members were wearing explosive belts during the meeting, and the explosion took place due to a defect in one of them. The meeting was held to prepare for an attack on the positions of the security forces in Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin Province.”
As the offensive on Mosul progresses, the $10 million bounty on al-Baghdadi’s head becomes more appealing as his life is being threatened at every turn and has nowhere to hide.