The re-emergence of fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the first time in five years, is not an occasion for celebration.
His reappearance, via video, comes weeks after the remnants of IS quit their last eastern Syrian desert stronghold.
Baghdadi blamed the collapse of the caliphate he declared five years ago on the “savagery” of Christians.
Baghdadi’s bigotry fuels hatred and medieval savagery — and misogyny bordering on slavery — but his ability to step back into the public eye, at a moment of his choosing, raises an obvious and disconcerting question.
We are assured that every move we make, every place we visit, every communication or social media peep we take, is recorded somewhere by someone, by one agency or another.
It is, we are warned, impossible to be invisible.
Yet Baghdadi, described as the world’s most wanted man, can go undetected for years.
How can this be?
Are the spooks spoofing about the level of surveillance they can impose?
Maybe not, but that Baghdadi is still at large suggests that they, like everyone else, exaggerate from time to time.