Will the Real ‘Al Baghdadi’ of ISIS Please Stand Up?

Another operation to weaken Iran’s influence in the region & reshape the geopolitical map with the aim of a major energy power shift in gas and oil pipelines

In recent weeks the world has been shocked by countless YouTube videos (curious that Google does not ban them as they do other far less offensive videos), purporting to be posted by the Islamic Jihadist ISIS (now in this era of sexy branding, we are supposed to call them just IS, in honor of their global proclamation of an Islamic State or caliphate). The YouTubes show apparent savage beheading by the Sunni Muslims of ISIS of “infidels” whether Christian, Kurd of Shi’ite Muslim or murder of US journalists. Now evidence is emerging that the commander of ISIS, who goes by the bizarre name, “Al Baghdadi” or the One from Baghdad, is actually not from Baghdad and not even an Arab Muslim.

Al-Baghdadi, who the US State Department names as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri and Wikipedia names as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, aka Emir Daash, supposedly took command of ISIS’ predecessor in Iraq, Al Qaeda in Iraq, in 2010. Greatly boosting his “bad guy” image, the US Government on 4 October 2011 put him on the elite list of the US State Department, “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” a kind of “Football Hall of Fame” for terrorists designated by the US Government. As such Al Baghdadi has a price on his head of $10 million. That makes him Number two globally behind the champion and Osama bin Laden successor Ayman Al-Zawahiri who tops the league with a price of $25 million. [1]

A French news blog source, Croah.fr, citing Radio.ajyal.com, claims that sources linked to NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, have identified the feared Al-Baghdadi as one Simon Elliott (aka Elliott Shimon), born to two Jewish parents who was recruited by Israeli Mossad intelligence to infiltrate Al Qaeda in Iraq on behalf of Israeli, British and US intelligence around the time of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. [2]

US Trains ISIS fighters in Jordan

I must stress that the veracity of this claim about the true identity of Al-Baghdadi cannot as of this writing be confirmed at all, and may well be disinformation. What is clear however, is that the Obama Administration has in fact done everything imaginable to support the emergence of ISIS. According to WorldNewsDaily, Syrian rebels who afterwards joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by US instructors working at a secret base in Jordan. [3]

Reuters and the UK Guardian as well as Germany’s Der Spiegel all reported in 2013 that the US had a massive secret training program in Jordan to train fighters against the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria.[4] At the time US sources made the dubious claim that they were being “careful” to screen out any Al Qaeda terrorists. One can imagine a US CIA recruiter asking a Sunni Jihadist: “Sir, are you or have you ever been linked with any terror organization on the US State Department list?” No Sir!, I only Kill in the name of Allah; I am no terrorist... “Ok, come in…”

According to those 2013 reports, as of March 2013 the plans of the US trainers were to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the "Free Syrian Army" in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan. According to Jordanian security service sources, “British and French instructors were also participating in the US-led effort.” The aim of that project was reportedly to build around a dozen units totaling some 10,000 fighters. [5] This is the origin of this “come out of the blue” ISIS that we are supposed to believe suddenly popped up full-blown with brilliant military victories in Iraq and Syria early in 2014. It would also explain why, despite repeated pleas from then Iraqi Shi’ite Prime Minister Maliki for US military support to contain the growing threat from “Al-Baghdadi” and ISIS, the Obama Administration repeatedly refused any support.

According to statements from an Iraqi Shi’ite source inside the Maliki government, at least one of the training camps of the ISIS was located near to the US major airbase at Incirlik near Adana, Turkey, where large numbers of American personnel and equipment are located. After their training at the Incirlik US facilities, thousands of “ISIS” Jihadists were sent to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish the Islamic caliphate or IS. [6]

Target: Russia

In a statement to the German ZDF television, German Development Minister Gerd Müller, in response to the question who is financing ISIS in Iraq and Syria, replied that, “A story like this always has a history. Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar." [7]

Qatar has been in the forefront of financing Jihadist terror and Muslim Brotherhood movements to the extent that Saudi Arabia a year ago forced a split within the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to try to isolate Qatar. Qatar is also a de facto US military base, with Doha the operational headquarters of the US Pentagon Southern Command. According to reports, Qatar, encouraged by the United States, is openly supporting, financing and arming the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIS.

Whether IS head Al Baghdadi, whose very name is also suspicious and means only “The One from Baghdad,” is a Mossad agent or not, it is increasingly clear that ISIS or IS, is not the force it claims to be, but an operation of US and certain EU and likely Israeli intelligence, to weaken Iran’s influence in the region and reshape the geopolitical map with the aim of a major energy power shift in gas and oil pipelines.

One of ISIS’ key military leaders, the Jihadist credited with being the “military mastermind” of the recent ISIS victories is Tarkhan Batirashvili. If his name doesn’t sound very Arabic, it’s because it’s not. Tarkhan Batrashvili is a Russian, actually an ethnic Chechen from near the Chechen border to Georgia. But to give himself a more Arabic flair, he also goes by the name Emir (what else?) Umar al Shishani. According to a November, 2013 report in The Wall Street Journal, Emir Umar or Batrashvili as you prefer, has made the wars in Syria and Iraq “into a geopolitical struggle between the US and Russia.” [8]  With Russian gas pipelines in Ukraine in grave danger of NATO takeover and US pressuring the EU to block both South Stream and North Stream, a US-backed Jihad that drives Russia out of both Iraq and Syria would be a devastating blow to Russian autonomy.

To be continued…

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F. William Engdahl, BFP contributing Author & Analyst

William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He is a contributing author at BFP and may be contacted through his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net where this article was originally published.


[1] US State Department, Terrorist Designation of Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, Media Note--Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, October 4, 2011 accessed in http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/10/174971.htm

[2] Joe le Corbeau, Simon Elliot, alias Al-Baghdadi, de père et mère juifs, et agent du Mossad, 3 August 2014, accessed in  http://croah.fr/corbeau-dechaine/simon-elliot-alias-al-baghdadi-de-pere-et-mere-juifs-et-agent-du-mossad/

[3] Aaron Klein, Blowback: US trained Islamists who joined ISIS, June 17, 2014, accessed in


[4] Gareth Jones, Americans are training Syria rebels in Jordan: Spiegel, Reuters, March 10, 2013, accessed in

[6] Aaron Klein, op. cit.

[7]  Daily Star,  Qatar financing ISIS jihadists: German minister, 20 August, 2014, accessed in http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-20/267815-qatar-financing-isis-jihadists-german-minister.ashx#ixzz3B0T9e6Nx.

[8] Alan Cullison, Meet the Rebel Commander in Syria That Assad Russia and the US All Fear:

Tarkhan Batirashvili, Ethnic Chechen, Leads Group Deeply at Odds with Western-Backed Rebels in Syria, Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2013, accessed in http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579181962177007316


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  1. William York says:

    I think the Snowden/Baghdadi story has been pretty thoroughly debunked by this point. There was even a recent Demanufacturing Consent podcast with Tom Secker as guest that did just that.

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