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10 things you didn’t know about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi


10 things you didn’t know about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

We go behind the mystery of the world’s newest Caliph and former ISIS frontman

10-things-you-didn’t-know-about-Abu-Bakr-al-BaghdadiHe’s the self-declared Caliph of the new Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, and a man who even Al Qaeda think is “a bit much”. But what else do we know about the former ISIS frontman?

1 – Began at ISIS as an 18-year-old intern in 1989 and worked his way up to become its youngest CEO at just 38.

2 – Married his childhood sweetheart Zoe in 1991. Together they have three children, Jack, four, and twins Lucy and Abu Jnr, two.

3 – Holds an International MBA from Tel Aviv University, where he was vice-captain of the debating society and wrote for the student newspaper.

4 – Was an early investor in social media platform Twitter and is believed to have made almost $11 million when the company went public in 2012.

5 – Claimed responsibility for an attack in Northern Iraq in 2011 that killed 19 policemen, but later said he had just been joking and it wasn’t actually him at all.

6 – Is described as being a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, but is a far closer direct descendant of his parents, Michael and Janice al-Baghdadi, who run a dry cleaning business in Samarra.

7 – Despite imposing a strict interpretation of Sharia law across his captured territories, Amr keeps things very relaxed in his own home, where he has installed a cinema screen, bar and Jacuzzi for ISIS soldiers to chill out after a big fight.

8 – On top of being the first Caliph since the Ottoman Empire, Abu was the first among his classmates to go to second base with a girl, believed to be Tracy Bingham at an under-18s disco in Baghdad in 1986.

9 – Has said he hopes to expand his Islamic State’s borders beyond Iraq and Syria and into the Gulf, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey and the Spanish island of Ibiza.

10 – Abu fell out with Al Qaeda boss Ayman Al-Zawahiri earlier this year after describing the global terror network as being “a big bunch of woofters” in one of his podcasts.



  1. HS Critic

    July 5, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Lesser known fact: Abu also starred as sky Mastersonin his high school’s production of Guys and Dolls. He still serenades Zoe every year on their anniversary with “My Time of Day”.

  2. Roger Spamfactory

    November 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I heard he was also the original Ronald McDonald..

  3. Ahmed Adoudi

    November 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

    On his profile he describes himself as ‘an international man of mystery’…

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