The head of the Islamic State (IS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called on his followers to continue the “jihad” in a message broadcast on August 22 via his propaganda agency Amaq Telegram messaging. This is the first record given to him in almost a year.
His message was broadcast on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival marking the end of the great pilgrimage to Mecca, and while the IS was defeated in Syria by government forces and its Russian allies and Iran, as well as by Western forces.
“Those who forget their religion, patience, jihad against their enemies and their certainty in the promise of the Creator collapse and fall. Those who stick to it are proud and victorious even after a while, “says the one that is presented by a propaganda message, at the beginning of the recording of nearly 55 minutes, like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The last presumed recording of the head of the IS was on September 28, 2017 . In it, he already called his fighters, yet already cornered from all sides in Syria and Iraq, to ”resist” against their enemies. Only a few months earlier, the terrorist organization had lost its “capital” in Iraq, the city of Mosul.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria?
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, believed to have died in the past, is still believed to be living in Syrian territory along the border with Iraq, as Iraqi officials say. It is in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only known public appearance, in July 2014, at al-Nouri Mosque, famous for its leaning minaret.
In June 2017, Russia said it had probably killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air raid near Raqqa, the former capital of the group, in Syria. According to Moscow, the raid took place at the end of May. Russia then pointed out that it continued to check whether it was dead. Three months later, a senior US military official claimed that the IS leader was probably still alive and was probably hiding in the Euphrates Valley in eastern Syria.