The Islamic State on Saturday released an audio recording of a speech purportedly made by the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he implored more Muslims to fight on behalf of his increasingly besieged group.
The Islamic State on Saturday released an audio recording of a speech purportedly made by the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he begged for help and implored more Muslims to fight on behalf of his increasingly besieged group.
The authenticity of the recording could not be confirmed. It appeared to be Mr. Baghdadi’s first public address since May, and it followed reports that he had been either killed or gravely wounded by airstrikes.
The speech was released on jihadist social media accounts after a string of defeats for the Islamic State in Iraq and amid intensifying bombardment by an American-led military coalition in both Syria and Iraq.
Threatening the West and Israel
Baghdadi also pledged to attack Israel and the West, saying ISIS has 'not forgotten Palestine for a single moment'.
'And soon, soon with God's permission, you will hear the footsteps of the mujahideen... We are getting closer to you day by day,' he said.
And it was not clear when the recording was made, but it referred to a 34-nation anti-IS coalition announced by Saudi Arabia on December 15.
'They announced lately a coalition... falsely called 'Islamic,' and announced its goal is to fight the caliphate,' said the speaker in the recording circulating among pro-IS Twitter users.
'If this coalition were Islamic, it would have announced victory and aid to the people of Syria,' he said.
He called on Saudi citizens to 'rise up against the apostate tyrants, and avenge your people in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen'.
Baghdadi regularly attacks the Saudi kingdom in his recordings and slammed the Kingdom's monarchy for their relationship with the West.
In his last message, he accused Saudi rulers of launching an air campaign against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen only to please the West.
The audio recording, which was attributed to the self-claimed caliph, was released today on social media.
The 24-minute recording would be Baghdadi's first in seven months, during which ISIS has been dealt several blows in Iraq and Syria.
The voice appeared to match previous recordings of him although it remains difficult to verify when the statement was recorded.
The recording did not appear to be accompanied by multilingual transcripts, which has been in the case with other Baghdadi audio messages.
Baghdadi made his first and last public appearances in the summer of 2014 in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which IS holds.