WASHINGTON — Since establishing their Islamic state, the terrorists who obliterated the border between Iraq and Syria have set about the business of turning their caliphate into an actual state.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) — now, since Sunday, known as the new caliph — issued a message Tuesday to the mujahidin and Muslim community chock full of Quranic verses and calls to arms.
“Muslims’ rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Shām (the Levant), Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Ahvaz, Iran [by the rāfidah (shia)], Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, in the East and in the West,” al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim, said. “So raise your ambitions, O soldiers of the Islamic State! For your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades.”
“Soon, by Allah’s permission, a day will come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master, having honor, being revered, with his head raised high and his dignity preserved. Anyone who dares to offend him will be disciplined, and any hand that reaches out to harm him will be cut off,” he continued. “So let the world know that we are living today in a new era. Whoever was heedless must now be alert.”
“Whoever was sleeping must now awaken. Whoever was shocked and amazed must comprehend. The Muslims today have a loud, thundering statement, and possess heavy boots. They have a statement that will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism, and boots that will trample the idol of nationalism, destroy the idol of democracy and uncover its deviant nature.”
But in addition to the standard battle cry, the new caliph also got down to the brass tracks of trying to stock his new state with the necessities and infrastructure beyond just a dusty lot roped off for terrorist training.
“O Muslims everywhere, whoever is capable of performing hijrah (emigration) to the Islamic State, then let him do so, because hijrah to the land of Islam is obligatory,” al-Baghdadi said. “…We make a special call to the scholars, fuqahā’ (experts in Islamic jurisprudence), and callers, especially the judges, as well as people with military, administrative, and service expertise, and medical doctors and engineers of all different specializations and fields.”
On Twitter, where ISIS-affiliated accounts have grown like weeds, there was a call for translators to come and join the new Islamic state: “Speakers of #Urdu, #Hindi, #Bengali and other languages will be welcome.”
“Is their any other nation on earth that cares enough 4 its citizens to burn $100 000’s worth of cigarettes, rather than reap the profits?” tweeted another ISIS-affiliated account.
At the Pentagon on Tuesday, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the assessment teams sent to Iraq by President Obama to figure out what’s going on with the ISIS takeover — a swathe of claimed land larger than Jordan stretching from the Turkish border in Syria sweeping down past the edge of Baghdad — were getting their bearings.
“We obviously are watching the situation very closely, as closely as we can, given the limits of information that we have — again, we’re trying to get better information. It certainly remains — ISIL still remains, as I said last week, a legitimate threat to Baghdad and the environs. We believe that the — the Iraqi government is taking that threat seriously, that Iraqi security forces in and around Baghdad are continuing to reinforce themselves and actually to go on the offensive in some areas, as we saw over the weekend,” Kirby said.
“But there are large swaths of the country which are either still controlled by ISIL or contested between ISIL and the Iraqi security forces. Our assessment teams are just getting started. We need to let them finish that work and then we’ll — you know, we’ll go from there.”
Over at the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest called ISIL an “existential threat” to Iraq.
“There is a rather tenuous security situation in that country right now,” Earnest added. “…Anyone who takes a look at this situation and understands the severity of the threat that is facing that country right now understands that their political leaders should be moving very quickly.”
Al-Baghdadi lauded his new caliphate as “a state where the Arab and non-Arab, the white man and black man, the easterner and westerner are all brothers.”
“It is a khilāfah that gathered the Caucasian, Indian, Chinese, Shāmī, Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian, Maghribī (North African), American, French, German, and Australian,” he said.
“…So prepare your arms, and supply yourselves with piety. Persevere in reciting the Quran with comprehension of its meanings and practice of its teachings. This is my advice to you. If you hold to it, you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”
— Stratfor (@Stratfor) July 2, 2014