Ibrahim al-Badri, a run-of-the-mill Sunni Iraqi cleric, gained a degree from the University of Baghdad at a time when pedagogy there had collapsed because of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship and international sanctions. After 2003 he took the name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and turned to a vicious and psychopathic violence involving blowing up children at ice cream shops and blowing up gerbils and garden snakes at pet shops and blowing up family weddings, then coming back and blowing up the resultant funerals. This man is one of the most infamous serial killers in modern history, with the blood of thousands on his hands, before whom Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy fade into insignificance.... And, of course, Mulla Omar Uruzgani of Afghanistan was proclaimed “caliph” by the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Hopefully he and al-Baghdadi will end up in the same jail cell so they can drive each other crazy claiming to be the real caliph. In fact, virtually no one in the Muslim world thinks Mulla Omar is a caliph.
- Juan Cole, June 30 2014