Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of DA’ISH. DA’ISH has been responsible for numerous massacres and atrocities and while they have spared none who disagree with them, their attacks on religious minorities have received particular media attention. Their heyday seems to be over as they have lost all territory they held in Syria and Iraq. A 55 minute audio message in August 2018 was the first message from Baghdadi since the fall of Raqqa in 2017; the message acknowledged the losses of Da’ish but encouraged further acts of terrorism. There are no confirmed reports of Bahghdadi’s background, but some reports say that Al-Baghdadi was born near Samarra, Iraq, and holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Islamic Sciences in the Baghdad suburb of Adhamiya.