Dead or Alive: New audio from Baghdadi

by Ranti Joseph

After the last recordings released last year November and after the rumour that the leader of the Islamic state (IS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead, an audio recording again is surfacing on media, which is the first in months. Although analysts say the voice appears to be Baghdadi’s but it is not yet verified.

In the message, Muslims are urged to emigrate to the caliphate it has proclaimed in areas of Syria and Iraq. A reference to the Yemen conflict means it is recent.

There are indications that the recording is recent due to the reference being made to Yemen conflict.

The latest message was released by the group’s al-Furqan media outlet and appeared on several websites.

The voice on the audio recording is clear, assured and, in places, almost melodic. It is said it is the voice of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi meaning that his death is a rumour.

“There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State… joining [its fight] is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons [to fight] wherever you are.

“Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels,” the voice said.

“There is no might nor honour nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the caliphate,” it added.

Baghdadi’s last message was in November.

His only public appearance was to deliver a sermon in Mosul in Iraq after IS took the city last July.

An Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said in April that Baghdadi had been seriously wounded in a coalition air strike in March.

However, the Pentagon said it had no information on that, and other reports last year of him being injured proved to be inaccurate.

The Iraqi ministry of defence said on Wednesday that the second-in-command of IS, Abdul Rahman Mustafa Mohammed, was killed in an undated coalition air strike on a mosque in northern Iraq. But the US said coalition planes had not attacked a mosque.

With this recent audio, there is possibility that he is still alive or the IS is trying to continue his legacy and used voice control.

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