The ISIS leader threatened attacks on Israel and called on Muslims to join the group, but his appeal largely fell flat to hundreds online.
In Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s latest purported call to violence, the leader of ISIS insisted his self-declared caliphate was strong and intact, despite the erosion of territory the group has suffered in recent months of air strikes and military campaigns, particularly in Iraq. However, unlike in past audio messages, his appeals to Muslims to join him had less impact and support, with many deriding him online.
The audio recording released Saturday through ISIS online supporters couldn’t be independently verified, but it appears to be his voice based on comparisons with past recordings, and was distributed by Furqan Media, ISIS’ online media network. “Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” he said, according to Reuters. Baghdadi is said to warn Israel, and hectors Muslims that it was their Islamic duty to rise up and take arms.
Baghdadi’s comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear to have hit a nerve with many Arabs on Twitter. The Islamic State has “not forgotten Palestine for a single moment,” al-Baghdadi said, “and soon, soon with God’s permission, you will hear the footsteps of the mujahideen … We are getting closer to you day by day,” he said.