The current leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is seen constantly on giving passionate speeches denouncing America and calling for the death of all non-believers.
But he wasn’t always this way.
In fact he was far from it. He grew up playing soccer on the streets of Baghdad and learning to recite the Quran from very religious parents. Neighbors that knew him called him: “shy and retiring,” “withdrawn,” “taciturn” and “barely audible.” Far from what we envision him as now.
He had plans of law school, but lackluster English grades in high school derailed that plan.
It wasn’t until an uncle of his convinced him to join the radical Muslim Brotherhood group while he was a grad student that his life took a different turn.
Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Baghdadi was imprisioned in 2004 for 10 months. After this he joined Al-Qaeda in Syria. Before long he was recruited to the Islamic State and in 2010 became their leader.
More from the Daily Caller:
Counter-terror expert Will McCants documents the rise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a nerdy religious kid playing soccer on the streets of Baghdad to a brutal leader of Islamic State in a detailed new account published Tuesday.
Baghdadi’s zealous devotion to his faith, family lineage and political cunning transformed him from a withdrawn child obsessed with studying to a self-proclaimed supreme leader of the Muslim world, McCants writes in the essay published by the Brookings Institution.