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Islamic State uses Turkish Consulate in Mosul as headquarters

The Turkish consul general and 48 other employees are still being held hostage in Mosul by the Islamic State, while the group uses the consulate building as its headquarters.

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the enigmatic leader of the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS), appeared on a video posted online in early July addressing a congregation of faithful at a mosque in Mosul, pundits oozed commentary about his words and his attire. Was the self-declared caliph’s watch a Rolex? If so, how did this sit with the teachings of Islam? they mused.

But a no less significant detail escaped unnoticed. After his fiery speech, Baghdadi was whisked away to the Islamic State's new headquarters — the Turkish Consulate in Mosul. “It is absolutely true that IS has been using the Turkish Consulate as its main headquarters and that Baghdadi spent several hours there,” confirmed Atheel al-Nujaifi, the governor of Mosul, in a telephone interview with Al-Monitor. “It is their office.”

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