ISIS released an audio message online in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is calling for new recruits to join the holy war. The audio, which was released today, is Baghdadi’s first message this year, since last November.
Analysis of the voice was consistent with Baghdadi’s previous recordings, but it has not been completely verified yet since the Iraqi interior ministry has been claiming since last month that Baghdadi was wounded in an airstrike in March. They said that Baghdadi was suffering from a spinal injury and would be unavailable to lead the group. There is also uncertainty about the authenticity of the audio because it comes soon after the claims of the death of Abu Alaa al-Afri, Baghdadi’s second in command in an airstrike.
The recording was released by the group’s media arm, Al-Furqan and is originally in Arabic. The speaker in the audio condemns Saudi’s March 26 decision to start the airstrikes in Yemen and said that this will lead to the end of the rule of the royal family. This shows that the recording is recent.
He also calls for recruits and tells Muslims to stop making excuses from joining the war. He further adds that Islam had never been a peaceful religion and has in fact always been the religion of fighting as they have to fight against the infidels. He also says that the call to arms was not because ISIS is weak, but because they are strong.
By Anugya Chitransh
BBC News: Islamic State releases ‘al-Baghdadi message’
CNN: ISIS releases message from al-Baghdadi calling for recruits
Photo by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant from Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain