ISIS’ Al-Furqan media today released new audio of an address by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with written translations in English, Russian, Turkish, French and German.
The release comes as rumors of the caliph suffering a debilitating injury in a coalition airstrike have been circulating.
In the speech, Baghdadi calls on “every Muslim in every place to perform hijrah to the Islamic State or fight in his land, wherever that may be.”
“Do not think the war that we are waging is the Islamic State’s war alone. Rather, it is the Muslims’ war altogether. It is the war of every Muslim in every place, and the Islamic State is merely the spearhead in this war. It is but the war of the people of faith against the people of disbelief, so march forth to your war O Muslims,” he says. “March forth everywhere, for it is an obligation upon every Muslim who is accountable before Allah. And whoever stays behind or flees, Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) will be angry with him and will punish him with a painful torment.”
Baghdadi stresses that “whoever thinks that it is within his capacity to conciliate with the Jews, Christians, and other disbelievers, and for them to conciliate with him, such that he coexists with them and they coexist with him while he is upon his religion and upon tawhīd (monotheism), then he has belied the explicit statement of his Lord.”
“Islam,” he adds, “is the religion of war.”
“And if the Crusaders today have begun to bother the Muslims who continue to live in the lands of the cross by monitoring them, arresting them, and questioning them, then soon they will begin to displace them and take them away either dead, imprisoned, or homeless. They will not leave anyone amongst them except one who apostatizes from his religion and follows theirs,” Baghdadi continued, adding Americans “claim to defend Islam and the Muslims” but “indeed, they lie.”
He referred to America’s Arab allies — as President Obama meets with GCC representatives at Camp David — as “slaves, servants, and guard dogs” of the “Jews and Crusaders.” He derides rulers on the Arabian Peninsula as “people of luxury and extravagance, people of intoxication, prostitution, dances, and feasts” who “have become accustomed to the defense of the Jews and Crusaders for them and their hearts have drunk humiliation, disgrace, and subservience.”
“This war is only against you and against your religion. Has the time not come for you to return to your religion and your jihād and thereby bring back your glory, honor, rights, and leadership?” Baghdadi says in a broader call to Muslims. He urged Sunnis who fled their homes and sought refuge among “Kurdish atheists” to return so ISIS can give them “salvation from Hellfire.”
“Your repentance is more beloved to us than killing you or expelling you. Repent for we do not call you out of weakness. Rather, we call you while our swords are at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer from your necks. If you repent, you will not find from us anything except good and kindness.”
He told ISIS fighters to “be patient, because the Crusaders are bleeding to death, the Rāfidah [Shiites] are faltering, and the Jews are horrified and in dread.”
Baghdadi gave shouts out to ISIS fighters in various areas of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, West Africa, and Yemen.
He said that Muslims are not being called to “march forth” for the Islamic State “out of weakness or incapability” — the address was titled “March Forth Whether Light or Heavy” — but “because the battle is one between the allies of the Merciful and the allies of Satan.”
Baghdadi, an ISIS e-book published this year claimed, is dressed like a regular mujahid in public, paranoid about carrying a cell phone or using electronic communications, and “always cautiously on the move for security reasons… hiding is comfortably possible compared to Osama bin Laden who had less security, more spies against him and less places to hide.”
“Unlike the medieval times when a king was safe in a guarded castle, leaders today cannot have one central location. Khalifah Ibrahim is always on the move in a convoy of cars, with loyal bodyguards who he knows since the American invasion in the mid 2000s. The secret is not to have too much cars which will give the impression (to local people and even drones) that an important person is in one of the cars. But not to have too less cars either, in case of ambush.”
Rumors were spreading in February that Baghdadi and/or other high-ranking leaders had been killed in airstrikes, but those turned out to be unsubstantiated.