IS releases audio recording 'from top leader al-Baghdadi'

IS releases audio recording 'from top leader al-Baghdadi'
2 min read
28 September, 2017
Islamic State released on Thursday an audio recording allegedly of its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the first communication from the elusive jihadist leader in almost year.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself the new leader of an "Islamic caliphate" [Getty]
Islamic State [IS] group released on Thursday an audio an alleged recording from its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi via its propaganda outlet Al-Furqan media.

The 46-minute recording, much of which is dedicated to religious scriptures, comes as the militant group struggles to maintain control over much of its territory in Iraq and Syria.

The date of the recording was unclear but is the first of the elusive leader in almost a year. In it, he makes reference to North Korean threats against Japan and the US.

It comes amid speculations over Baghdadi's fate following recent reports that he was killed after a Russian airstrike hit a convoy of senior IS commanders near Raqqa.

Earlier this month, a senior US general told reporters Baghdadi is probably still alive and likely hiding in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

"We're looking for him every day. I don't think he's dead," said Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander of the counter-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria.

In 2014, following the rapid capture of Mosul and vast swathes of western Iraq by IS, Baghdadi declared himself the new leader of an "Islamic caliphate" from the Grand Mosque of al-Nuri in the Old City of Mosul.

The group and lone wolves inspired by it have claimed numerous terror attacks from the US to the Philippines, via Europe and the Middle East.