This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
Advertisement

Islamic State leader calls for 'volcanoes of jihad' in alleged new recording

He was rumoured to have died in an air strike earlier this week.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE ISLAMIC STATE group has released a defiant audio recording it said was of chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after air strikes on jihadist leaders in Iraq sparked rumours he had been wounded or killed.

In the 17-minute message, the man purported to be Baghdadi vowed that IS, which has overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria, will continue to expand despite international air strikes, and that its opponents will be drawn into a ground war.

“Be assured, O Muslims, for your State is good and in the best condition. Its march will not stop and it will continue to expand,” said the man in the recording, whose voice sounded like Baghdadi’s but whose identity could not be independently confirmed.

“Soon, the Jews and Crusaders will be forced to come down to the ground and send their ground forces to their deaths and destruction,” he said.

Volcanoes

He also called on members of ISIS to “erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere”.

“Light the earth with fire against all dictators.”

US President Barack Obama has announced plans to double the number of US military personnel in Iraq to up to 3,100 to help advise and train Baghdad’s forces — a move the man in the audio recording said was the start of the ground war between the two sides.

The message was the first said to be from Baghdadi since a video released in July, shortly after IS proclaimed a “caliphate” over parts of Iraq and Syria, of the jihadist leader delivering a Friday sermon in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Seriously injured

While the recording seemed aimed at dispelling speculation that Baghdadi was seriously injured or dead, it did not mention the strikes against IS leaders.

But it did reference the decision by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, Egypt’s deadliest militant group, to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi and IS, which was announced after the strikes.

Turkey Syria Smoke rises in the Syrian city of Kobani, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border. Source: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

The United States said that coalition aircraft launched strikes targeting IS leaders in the area of their northern hub of Mosul on Friday, setting off a flurry of speculation that Baghdadi was wounded or killed.

Some reports meanwhile pointed to another alleged strike near Iraq’s border with Syria, saying Baghdadi was hit there instead.

But officials in both Iraq and the United States have made clear that no one is yet certain about Baghdadi’s fate.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said Monday that “the bottom line from our perspective is we simply cannot confirm his current status.”

- © AFP 2014

Read: 16-year-old Dutch girl arrested on her way to join IS in Syria >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (51)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel