Leader of Islamic State Breaks 10-Month Silence

Audio released by IS said to be leader Baghdadi
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2017 3:32 PM CDT
Head of Islamic State: 'Fan Flames of War on Your Enemies'
This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance.   (Militant video via AP, File)

Three months after Russian officials said there was a "high probability" Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike, an Islamic State media outlet released an apparent audio recording of the IS leader, the AP reports. It's the first alleged recording of Baghdadi released since last November. According to the Guardian, he hasn't been seen in public since 2014. While it's unclear when the recording was made, it appears to have been recently, as Baghdadi references current events, including North Korean nuclear threats against the US, Reuters reports. And the voice on the recording matches the voice heard on earlier Baghdadi recordings. In the recording released Thursday, Baghdadi urges his followers in IS to keep fighting and target Western media centers while accusing the US of lacking "the will to fight."

Here are a few quotes from the 46-minute recording:

  • “Beware of retreat, or the feeling of defeat, beware of negotiations or surrender. Do not lay down your arms."
  • “Oh Soldiers of the Caliphate, fan the flames of war on your enemies, take it to them and besiege them in every corner, and stand fast and courageous.”
  • "Don't you dare allow the Crusaders and the apostates to enjoy a good and comfortable life at home while your brothers are enduring killings, shelling and destruction."
IS has suffered crushing military defeats since Baghdadi's last recorded address. He's currently believed to be hiding in the desert between Raqqa and Mosul. (More Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stories.)

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