The United States Pentagon has said that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive and still leading the group, The Independent reported on Friday. A Pentagon spokesperson said the US was doing “everything to track his movements”. “We certainly would take advantage of any opportunity to deliver him the justice he deserves,” Peter Cook said. “We’re doing everything we can. This is something we’re spending a lot of time on.”

Earlier in December, an emergency gathering of the Islamic State’s leaders in Iraq had led to unconfirmed reports that the group’s leader had been killed. The US had also increased the bounty for information on Baghdadi to $25 million (approximately Rs 169.88 crore).

The US has been desperately trying to locate the Islamic State leader as the conflict in West Asia, where the country is a major player, intensifies. Two years ago, Baghdadi had declared himself the caliph of a large part of the region. However, it is unclear whether he is holed up in Iraq’s Mosul or is closer to the Syrian border.