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A glimpse of the passionate loyalty inspired by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the insurgent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, comes in a recent video made by a 20-year-old Muslim recruit from the British city of Cardiff, Wales.Baghdadi's ability to inspire such intense support worries U.S. officials. His fighters seemingly will go anywhere and do anything for the cause. "Baghdadi is a ruthless, resilient and ambitious terrorist leader who unfortunately has shown a knack for tactical operations and, it seems, military strategy," says a U.S. counterterrorism official. He describes Baghdadi as "headstrong" and "opportunistic" in his ability to break with core Al-Qaeda leadership and fashion alliances with Iraqi and Syrian tribal leaders.Baghdadi may be more skillful in the field than either of his mentors, Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. It's telling that as Baghdadi has built his organization over the last several years, one of his most effective tactics has been to liberate Iraqi prisons that were holding Al-Qaeda detainees.
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