Islamic State: ‘Baghdadi message’ issued by jihadists

Islamic State: ‘Baghdadi message’ issued by jihadists

Image purported to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (05/07/14)Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has rarely appeared in public

Islamic State has released an audiotape it says was recorded by its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, days after reports that he had been killed or injured.

In the recording, released via social media, the speaker says IS fighters will never stop fighting “even if only one soldier remains”.

Correspondents say the recording appears authentic and recent.

BBC analysts say the message is probably also intended to counter the claim that Baghdadi has been killed.

The IS leader was said to have been caught in a US-led air strike near the Iraqi city of Mosul last week.

Thursday’s 17-minute recording makes no direct reference to that air strike, but does mention some developments that have occurred since then.

An English transcript of the recording was also released.

Among those are mentions of US President Barack’s Obama decision to deploy an extra 1,500 troops to Iraq – a move announced shortly after the air strike on Mosul.

Islamic State fighters drive armoured vehicles through Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Islamic State has a reputation for brutality in the territory it controls

BBC Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher says the tone of the recording is characteristically defiant and incendiary, and the cadences and language do sound like those of the Islamic State leader.

The recording calls on IS supporters to “erupt volcanoes of jihad” across the world.

He disparages opponents of IS as “Jews, Crusaders, apostates… [and] devils”, and says the US and its allies “are terrified, weak and powerless”.

The recording also calls for attacks in Saudi Arabia – describing Saudi leaders as “the head of the snake” – and says that the US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq is failing.

Gulf state rulers, who have joined the US-led coalition against IS, are described as “treacherous”.