ISIS leader urges attack
Audio message tells followers to keep up fight
CAIRO: ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has exhorted followers across the world to wage attacks against the West and to keep fighting in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
The message released yesterday was his first purported audio communication in almost a year, during which his jihadist group lost much of its self-proclaimed “caliphate”.
The audio, partly dedicated to religious scriptures, came after several reports Baghdadi had been killed. His last recording was in November 2016, two weeks after the start of the battle to recapture the city of Mosul from ISIS.
“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. Beware of retreat, or the feeling of defeat, beware of negotiations or surrender. Do not lay down your arms,” Baghdadi said, referring to followers in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Africa and elsewhere in Africa.
The date of the 46-minute recording, released via the AlFurqan news organisation, was not clear.
But in it, Baghdadi (pictured) makes an apparent ref- erence to events including North Korean threats against Japan and the US and the recapture two months ago of Mosul by US-backed Iraqi forces. It came as military experts announced that war between the US and North Korea was a “real possibility” and would lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people even if no nuclear weapons were used.
A report published by the Royal United Services Institute said Pyongyang was making “rapid progress” in its missile and nuclear program and “time is not on diplomacy’s side”.
The report suggested US President Donald Trump, faced with the continuing war against ISIS, would “‘resolve the North Korea issue sooner rather than later”.