IS leader calls for more at­tacks on West

Otago Daily Times - - Weekend World -

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

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