ISIS ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reportedly seriously ill after having his food poisoned by an assassin.
Meals prepared for the ISIS leader and three other commanders of the terrorist organisation were allegedly poisoned in the Be’aaj district, southwest of Nineveh in Iraq.
A source told Iraqi news agency WAA the four are suffering from ‘severe poisoning’ and ‘have been transferred to an unknown location under strict measures.’
The terror group have reportedly launched a campaign of arrests to track down those responsible.
Baghdadi is credited with transforming the breakaway al-Qaeda group turning it into the independent ISIS group that is arguably the most powerful and wealthiest jihadist organisation in the world.
Under his leadership, the group spearheaded an offensive that expanded into Syria in 2013 and which later overran much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland.
Baghdadi has reportedly been wounded multiple times.
Earlier this year there were reports he had been killed by US-led coalition air strikes, but they turned out to be inaccurate.
Baghdadi – whose real name is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim – is thought to have been born in Samarra, north of Baghdad, in 1971.
Reports suggest he was a cleric in a mosque in the city around the time of the US-led incursion in 2003.
Some believe he was already a terrorist jihadist during the rule of Saddam Hussein.
Others believe he was radicalised during the four years he was held at Camp Bucca, a US facility in southern Iraq where many al-Qaeda commanders were detained.
In October 2011, the US officially designated Baghdadi as ‘terrorist’ and offered a $10million reward for information leading to his capture or death.
Under Baghdadi’s leadership ISIS thugs have shocked the world with their sadistic and savage murder of thousands of people in the Middle East and Europe.
He prefers to shun the spotlight for an aura of mystery that adds to his appeal, in direct contrast to the likes of Osama bin Laden, who regularly appeared in videos sprouting hate messages and was internationally known long before 9/11.
As well as the uncertainty surrounding his true identity, his whereabouts are also unclear.
Although there were reports he was in Raqqa in Syria – the ISIS stronghold – those reports are unconfirmed.