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00:00:00
>> Islamic State has been defeated in Mosul and it's about to lose its other stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa. The big question on everyone's mind is where is Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the group's leader. Again, we hear reports that he's been killed or injured. I'm Michael Georgy, Reuters special correspondent in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq where we interviewed the top Kurdish counter intelligence official, Lahore Talibani.
00:00:26
Talibani said he's almost certain that Baghdadi is alive. He reminded us that this man has roots dating back to Al Qaeda in Iraq where he evaded security forces for years. Even though he was imprisoned and he was released, he was still on the run and he survived. Talabani said Islamic State will now revert to an insurgency.
00:00:47
He described it as al-Qaeda on steroids. So what he was trying to stress is that it's not about Baghdadi necessarily. If he dies, it'll be a blow to the group. But there are other leaders in waiting. And he thinks the people who would be leading the group are ex allies of Saddam Hussein.
00:01:04
These are the men who created a reign of terror for Islamic State. These are military strategist. These are people who are very capable of leading the group if Baghdadi is killed. The other issue is how to deal with the new Islamic State. Instead of trying to seize territory and hold it, they are now expected to go to the mountains of Iraq, go to the deserts, which they are used to, and wage an insurgency.
00:01:27
Hit and run attacks, bomb attacks. They're also to be operating in small cells, four to five men. He said that these cells are broken up frequently and there's plenty more of them and he's basically saying, tough times are ahead, so don't expect the game to be over any time soon for Islamic State.