(CNN) – U.S officials said on Thursday that they have new tracking information about an ISIS leader who’s been off the radar for months.
Fresh intelligence has emerged about ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, just days before president Obama leaves office.
A U.S official tells CNN, “in the last few weeks we’ve been aware of some of Baghdadi’s movements.”
The official would not offer additional details due to the sensitivity of the intelligence.
CNN military analyst, and retired Col. Cedric Leighton, said “If there’s a trail, it is at least possible to begin to pick up certain things, and when you pick up those certain indications of where a person has been, it becomes far more likely that you can actually find him.”
No one is saying if the terrorist leader is in Iraq or hunkered down in Raqqa, Syria, but several efforts are underway
U.S officials tell CNN there are a number of buildings in central Raqqa under observation. The U.S is looking for movement of any senior ISIS leaders. Communications are being intercepted, from raids in Mosul Iraq documents and data seized and reviewed for fresh tips.
U.S special operations forces on the ground talking to whomever may know something. Last month, a rare audio recording. Encouraging his fighters to stand strong in Mosul.
The U.S just raised the reward to 25 million for his capture. The goal has been to take away his layers of protection and security.
Leighton said, “These people have to communicate. Even if they don’t communicate via the internet or via phone, they have to communicate in one way or the other.”
U.S intelligence is focused on isolating Baghdadi by killing those close to him, nearly a dozen senior operatives so far.
Ash carter, the defense secretary said, “We took out three of ISIL’s key leaders in the last couple of weeks.”
One of the most important ISIS leaders, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, chief of external plotting also was killed in an airstrike in Syria.
And this Kuwaiti-born operative killed just this week. U.S officials have said that recapturing Mosul would provide more intelligence on ISIS.