While his father has been declared dead many times, only to miraculously reemerge in defiance of western (and Russian) media reports, Hudhayfah al-Badri, the son of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was recently killed in an “Inghimasi” operation in Homs province while fighting against Russian and Syrian forces, according to the Telegraph, which cited an official ISIS announcement. An “Inghimasi” attack is essentially a suicide mission where ISIS soldiers fight for as long as they can until they are either gunned down, or detonate suicide vests as a last stand.
The statement announcing his death was circulated on Telegram, a popular chat app that’s also regularly used for spreading terrorist propaganda.
“The son of the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in the “Nasiriyah” at the hotspot location in the state of Homs,” the ISIS statement said. According to Al Arabiya, the term “Nasiriyah” refers to the Alawite sect, of which Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is a member.
Badri is believed to have been born in 2000 to an Iraqi woman named Asmaa Fawzi Mohammed al-Kubaisi, which would make him 18 at the time of his death. In a photograph released by ISIS, he can be seen as a teenager holding an assault rifle, although that image may have been digitally altered. The ISIS statement didn’t say when Badri was killed. Badri was born in the Iraqi City of Samarra before his father became a senior al-Qaeda leader. Al Baghdadi is believed to have at least four other children.
However, according to Al Arabiya, some have raised doubts about the circumstances of Badri’s death, claiming that the story circulated by ISIS could be propaganda intended to drive recruitment.
While ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory in Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi – who is rumored to have been badly injured in an airstrike – is believed to be hiding out in a remote area somewhere near the Syria-Iraq border. He hasn’t been heard from since September, when he released a recording exhorting ISIS members and sympathizers to continue their attacks against the West in Syria, Iraq and across the world.
Baghdadi rose to global prominence in 2014 when he delivered a speech at the Great Mosque in Mosul declaring himself the leader of a new Islamic State. Several years later, ISIS forces destroyed the mosque as a last act of defiance as they were being driven out of Mosul. He is believed to have had at least two other Arab wives and possibly also a young German woman who traveled to Iraq to join ISIS.