Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may still be alive despite reports he had been killed.
Lahur Talabany, a leading Kurdish counter-terrorism official, said he was almost certain the terror leader was somewhere in Iraq.
This was despite Isis apparently admitting last week he had died.
‘Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead,’ Mr Talabany said.
‘We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive.
Mr Talabany, who has been heavily involved in tracking Al-Baghdadi, suggested he may have gone underground and would be difficult to catch because he was an expert at hiding.
‘He is not an easy figure. He has years of experience in hiding and getting away from the security services,’ Mr Talabany added.
‘The territory they control right now, still to this day, is very tough territory.
‘It is still not the end of the game for ISIL. Even though they have lost almost all of Mosul and they are getting ready to lose Raqqa as well.’
The net is closing on Isis after Iraqi security forces recently ended three years of its rule in Mosul.
The group was also under pressure in Raqqa, Syria.
But despite the recent success experts thought it may take three or four years to eliminate the group due to the new tactics it was using.
Members are now staging hit and run attacks from the mountains and deserts and are also using more suicide bombers.
Mr Talabany added it would be difficult to know which Al-Baghdadi aides were still alive, but he believed most of them were somewhere south of Raqqa.
Al-Baghdadi took control of Isis in 2014.