IS leader calls for more attacks on West
CAIRO: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr AlBaghdadi 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 has lost much of its selfproclaimed ‘‘caliphate’’.
The audio 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 IS.
‘‘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 46minute recording, released via the AlFurqan news organisation, was not clear. But in it, Baghdadi makes an apparent reference to recent events including North Korean threats against Japan and United States and the recapture two months ago of Mosul by USbacked Iraqi forces.
Since Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria in 2014, Iraqi forces have retaken a string of cities in western and northern Iraq, including Mosul.
Baghdadi also called for attacks on Western media, saying: ‘‘Oh soldiers of Islam in every location, increase blow after blow, and make the media centres of the infidels, from where they wage their intellectual wars, among the targets.’’ — Reuters