Recently IS group leader, al-Baghdadi, who has hardly been seen at all and who has been notoriously media-shy, was filmed by his group’s propaganda team preaching at Mosul’s landmark Great Mosque of Al Nouri. Afterwards groups of men approached al-Baghdadi. One local who asked what was going on was told that the men were pledging allegiance too. “Up until now it seems that this pledge is voluntary,” the local man, who preferred not to give his name for security reasons, said. “The ball is currently in the local people’s court. But that can’t last forever,” he speculated. “Soon anyone who has not pledged loyalty will be considered an enemy,” he suggested. Al-Baghdadi’s public appearance made many of the IS group members proud and they began to tell locals openly that Mosul would be the capital of the new Islamic state they had formed. All other conquests would be launched from Mosul, they said. Whatever does happen, the IS group is certainly acting as though Mosul is their capital, especially now that their “Caliph” – al-Baghdadi – was present and that people had pledged allegiance to him.