The Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released his first statement in seven months, taunting the United States, Israel, Europe, Russia, Shiites and apostates.
In the audio message from the day after Christmas, Baghdadi cautioned ISIS followers to “not let the mobilization of the nations of kufr [disbelievers] against us alarm us, frighten us, or break our resolve.”
“And if we are afflicted with killing, and our wounds become many, and the storms rage against us, and our adversities become great, then it would also be of no surprise,” he noted in the message released just before Iraqi forces retook the center of Ramadi.
“O Muslims, do not be amazed at the gathering of the nations and religions of disbelief against the Islamic State, for this is the condition of the victorious group in every era. This gathering will continue and the trials and tribulations will intensify until the two camps are completed, such that there does not remain in this camp hypocrisy, and there does not remain in that camp faith. Furthermore, have certainty that Allah will aid His believing slaves. And rejoice and be at ease, for your state continues to do well,” Baghdadi insisted. “And the more the nations increase in their frenzied mobilization against it, the more it increases in its certainty of Allah’s victory and that it is upon the straight path, and the more severe its tribulations become, the more it casts out the enemies and hypocrites and the more pure, firm, and steadfast its ranks become.”
Baghdadi called the battle “no longer merely a crusader campaign” but “the battle of the disbelievers altogether against the Muslims altogether.” He used this as a rallying cry for all Muslims to come fight for ISIS.
He also taunted the U.S. airstrikes, saying the “crusader” forces are “not daring to come by land to fight a small group of mujahidin.”
“Each one of them pushes the other forward in order to get him entangled. They don’t dare come, because their hearts are filled with fear of the mujahidin, and because, by Allah’s grace, they were taught a lesson in Afghanistan and Iraq and realized that they don‟t have the power to defeat the mujahidin. They don’t dare come, because they know with certainty what terrors and calamities await them in Sham, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Sinai, Africa, Yemen, and Somalia,” Baghdadi said. “They know what awaits them at Dabiq and Ghouta of defeat, ruin, and devastation. They know that it will be the final war, and thereafter – by Allah’s permission – we will raid them and they will not raid us, and Islam will lead the world once more until the establishment of the hour.”
“…America and its allies continue to dream of eliminating the caliphate through their proxies and tails. And every time one of their coalitions fails or one of their tails is cut off, they race to create another coalition.”
He included a threat to Israel, noting ISIS had not “forgotten” about its quest to “completely destroy” the Jews to take land for Palestinians. “And here we are coming closer to you day after day, and indeed your reckoning will be extremely severe,” he added. “…Palestine will be nothing but a grave for you, and your Lord has not gathered you in it except for the Muslims to kill you.”
Baghdadi insisted that “engaging oneself in this war is obligatory on every Muslim, and no one is excused.”
“Rise against the House of Saud, the apostate tawaghit [rulers], and support your people and your brothers in Shām, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, the Philippines, Africa, Indonesia, Turkistan, Bangladesh, and in every place,” he said.
“…We promise you, by Allah‟s permission, that every person who participates in this war against the Islamic State will pay a heavy price. So keep waiting, America. Keep waiting, Europe. Keep waiting, Russia. Keep waiting, O Rafidah [Shiites]. Keep waiting, O apostates. Keep waiting, O Jews. Indeed we, along with you, are awaiting.”