The corporate media is rife today with reports the supposed leader of the Islamic State, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, was critically wounded and an aide killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

The Pentagon, however, is not so sure. From Reuters:

The Pentagon said on Monday it could not corroborate reports that the commander of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was either killed or wounded in Iraq, acknowledging conflicting media reports out of the region.

This is not the first time al-Baghdadi was reported either wounded or dead. In 2010 the Iraqi government tried to bury the al-Baghdadi myth when it said the elusive terrorist was killed in a joint Iraqi-US operation in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad.

“Monday’s announcement, a public relations coup for Maliki, was swiftly followed by an unusually detailed US statement confirming the deaths — the first time American forces have overtly acknowledged the existence of Baghdadi — quoting General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in the country,” the AFP reported.

It was the third time al-Baghdadi was allegedly killed.

There is plenty of evidence, however, showing that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in fact does not exist and is merely another terrorist boogieman cooked up by the forever war architects in the Pentagon.

In 2007, when ISIS was first floated as the latest incarnation of al-Qaeda, Brigadier-General Kevin Bergner told a news conference al-Baghdadi did not exist.

From Reuters of July 18, 2007:

Bergner said the information came from an operative called Khalid al-Mashadani who was caught on July 4 and who he said was an intermediary to Osama bin Laden.

He said Mashadani was believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq network.

Khalid al-Mashadani is said to have worked for Egyptian al-Qaeda leader Abu Ayyab al-Masri, who invented not only the existence of al-Baghdadi, but the terror organization he supposedly led.

Masri had co-founded a “virtual organization in cyberspace called the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006 as a new Iraqi pseudonym for AQI,” according to Bergner.

“To further this myth, Masri created a fictional head of the Islamic State of Iraq known as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi,” he said.

“To make al-Baghdadi appear credible, al-Masri swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi and pledged to obey him, which is essentially pledging allegiance to himself since he knew Baghdadi was fictitious and a creation of his own.

“The rank and file Iraqis in AQI believe they are following the Iraqi al-Baghdadi. But all the while they have been following the orders of the Egyptian Abu Ayyab al-Masri.”

Masri is also a mysterious character who was reported killed on more than one occasion. He was “erroneously” reported killed during a U.S. military raid in Haditha and, a couple years later, again reported killed in Tikrit. The Pentagon devised a narrative explaining the killing with all the flair of a made-for-tv adventure:

The coalition forces believed al-Masri to be wearing a suicide vest and proceeded cautiously. After the lengthy exchange of fire and bombing of the house, the Iraqi troops stormed inside and found two women still alive, one of whom was al-Masri’s wife, and four dead men, identified as al-Masri, Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, an assistant to al-Masri, and al-Baghdadi’s son. A suicide vest was indeed found on al-Masri’s corpse, as the Iraqi Army subsequently stated.

The al-Baghdadi said killed was a different man than the al-Baghdadi we are told is the leader of the Islamic State.

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