Bagh­dadi tells ISIS to fight

Tempo - - News -

The Is­lamic State group re­leased a record­ing Thurs­day of what it says is its leader Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi, call­ing on ji­hadists un­der pres­sure in Syria and Iraq to “re­sist” their en­e­mies.

In his first al­leged mes­sage in nearly a year and fol­low­ing re­ports of his pos­si­ble death, the elu­sive ji­hadist leader called on his sup­port­ers to tar­get the “me­dia cen­ters” of coun­tries fight­ing his group.

The United States said it was ver­i­fy­ing the record­ing, but also that it had “no rea­son to doubt” its au­then­tic­ity.

“The lead­ers of the Is­lamic State and its sol­diers have re­al­ized that the path to... vic­tory is to be pa­tient and re­sist the in­fi­dels what­ever their al­liances,” Bagh­dadi al­legedly said in the record­ing.

It was not clear when the mes­sage, re­leased by the IS-af­fil­i­ated Al-Furqan me­dia group, was recorded.

In it, he lashed out at “in­fi­del na­tions headed by Amer­ica, Rus­sia and Iran” who, along with their al­lies, have in­flicted losses on the ji­hadists dur­ing sep­a­rate of­fen­sives against IS in Syria and Iraq.

“We will re­main, we will re­sist and be pa­tient... We will not give in,” he said, a day af­ter Iraqi forces de­feated IS fighters who had seized ar­eas in a sur­prise of­fen­sive around Ra­madi west of Bagh­dad.

The ap­par­ent IS leader called on “sol­diers of the caliphate” to pur­sue their “ji­had”, or holy war, and at­tacks. He urged his fol­low­ers to “tar­get the me­dia cen­ters of the in­fi­dels”, with­out pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails.

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