New Islamic State Leader Issues First Video

Asks Muslims to obey him, advise him
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2014 12:01 PM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2014 12:32 PM CDT

The leader of the group trying to overrun Iraq and Syria in order to form a new Islamic state has made what is believed to be his first public appearance. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a video of a sermon he delivered at a mosque in Mosul amid reports that he had been injured or killed, reports the BBC. "I am your leader, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, support me, and if you see that I am wrong, advise me," he says. "Obey me as far as I obey God."

The words may sound humble, but the video marks what the Telegraph calls an "audacious display of power" for the man newly anointed as Caliph Ibrahim, leader of the group now known as the Islamic State. Referring to last week's declaration of the new caliphate and his position as its leader, he said: "The mujahedeen have been rewarded victory by God after years of jihad, and they were able to achieve their aim and hurried to announce the caliphate and choose the imam." Confirmation isn't possible, but most analysts who have seen the video think it is indeed al-Baghdadi, reports AP. (More Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stories.)

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