Time’s Person Of The Year Overshadowed By 1st Runner-up, ISIS Leader Baghdadi

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel may have been named Time magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year, but the runner-up on the acclaimed list is hot on her heels, getting just as much attention, if not more. In a controversial move, Time named “brooding muezzin of death” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi — Islamic State leader — as the runner-up for its Person of the Year.

Baghadadi was allegedly chosen by Time’s editors because “as leader of ISIS, [he] has inspired followers to both fight in his self-declared caliphate of Iraq and Syria, and also stage attacks in countries like Tunisia and France.”

An article was released following the announcement, with Time journalist Massimo Calabresis referring to Baghdadi’s ability to rally jihadists to his call as “killing hundreds of innocents at hotels, mosques and concert halls from Paris to the Sinai, Beirut to San Bernardino.”

It was in 2015 when the ISIS leader transformed a breakaway al-Qaeda group into a “transnational terrorist franchise,” killing over 1,600 people in more than 80 attacks in 20 countries over a span of 18 months. This just goes to show how ISIS is arguably the world’s deadliest terror group, especially after militant group Boko Haram pledged its loyalty to ISIS in March.

But just who is Baghdadi anyway?

It is believed that Baghdadi — whose name is said to be Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai — was born in Samarra, north of Baghdad, in 1971, and joined the insurgency that erupted in Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion.

Baghdadi emerged as the leader of AQI (Al-Qa’ida in Iraq) in 2010, after the group’s former leaders were killed in an attack by US and Iraqi troops. He released an audio statement three years later, announcing the AQI and Jabhat al-Nusra terror groups were officially merging under the name Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (the Levant, Isil).

In July 2014, Baghdadi called on Muslims to obey him and join the caliphate, saying in a video, “I am the wali [leader] who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me. If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you.”

Read Also: ISIS Taunts Putin In latest Video: Beheads Alleged ‘Russian Spy’

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Regina is a Fine Arts graduate who expresses herself through various mediums. She finds amusement in pop culture, enjoys video games, and watches way too many YouTube videos on a daily basis.