IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi resurfaces and urges 'jihad'

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi resurfaces and urges 'jihad'

Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called on his followers to keep fighting, in his first message in about a year, according to an alleged audio released by the extremist group's media outlet.

If the voice on the audio is confirmed to be that of al-Baghdadi, that would date the message to this month and disprove reports of his death.

The speaker in the recording, who couldn't be verified as Baghdadi, tried to explain to the Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS/ISIL) supporters that victory or defeat for them shouldn't be about controlling territories and cities or achieving military superiority, the SITE intelligence group reported.

Baghdadi's purported audio message - the first to be released since last September - seems to be an attempt to boost the morale of the terrorists as Syrian government forces, backed by Iran and Russian Federation, are preparing for the liberation of Idlib, which is widely viewed as Syria's final battle against terror.

NAN reports that Al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in Syria and Iraq in June 2014 days after his fighters captured Mosul, the largest city they ever held.

The secretive Islamic State leader has frequently been reported killed or wounded since leading his fighters on a sweep through northern Iraq. His whereabouts are not known, but Wednesday's message appears to suggest he is still alive.

The recording, published by IS media wing al-Furqan, runs for about 55 minutes. He also threatened Russian Federation and the USA who backed the offensive against IS.

However, if this indeed is his voice, this is the first one since the defeat of the group in Raqqa in Syria in October previous year, the report noted.

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Urban said that U.S. officials believe that the IS leader is still alive.

" A piercing shot, a deep stab that penetrates the body, the detonation of a vehicle bomb in your [Western] lands is equal [in its impact] to a thousand operations here, and do not disregard [the option of] running over people on the roads." says Baghdadi.

In 2017, the U.S. State Department offered a $25 million reward for information that leads to his capture or death. He is believed to be presently hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border region.

Isisi leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi speaks during his sole public appearance in 2014 in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Baghdadi claimed responsibility for a July attack in Canada in which a gunman killed two people.

The terror group has released an audio where Baghdadi is purportedly describing his followers as "striking lions".

The jihadist group had already said they were behind the shooting, but Canadian police said there was nothing to substantiate it.

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