Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Says 'The March Of The Mujahideen Will Continue Until They Reach Rome'; Welcomes Pledges Of Allegiance From Saudi Arabia, Yemen, North Africa, Announces New Provinces And Governors There

November 13, 2014

On November 13, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) released, via Al-Furqan media company, an recorded audio message by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The message, 16:57 in duration, was released on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum. In it, Al-Baghdadi says that the coalition campaign against ISIS has failed, and that ISIS continues to expand despite the attacks against it. He reiterates that the Crusaders will be forced to send their ground troops to fight ISIS, and that the fate of those troops will be death and destruction. Al-Baghdadi welcomes the string of recent pledges of allegiance from groups and individuals in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, and North Africa, and announces the formation of new wilayat (provinces) there and the appointment of new governors by ISIS. Speaking to the new ISIS members in Saudi Arabia, Al-Baghdadi sets their priorities in regard to targeting their enemies, saying that they should first focus on attacking the Shi'ites, then the Saudi monarchy and its military, and lastly the "Crusaders and their bases."

It is noteworthy that Al-Baghdadi, who was reportedly wounded in a November 7 airstrike, refers in his message to events that followed these reports – for example, the Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group's November 9 announcement that it was joining ISIS.[1]

Below are the main points of Al-Baghdadi's message, based on the English transcription that was provided by ISIS:   

In his message, Al-Baghdadi reiterates the Muslims' obligation to jihad and fighting, and says that Allah has prepared a painful torment for those who refrain from jihad. Al-Baghdadi adds that those who fight for Allah's sake shall be victorious. Jihad, Al-Baghdadi says, is the best deeds and is the peak of Islam. Al-Baghdadi also says that ISIS's mujahideen fight with the assertion that Allah will be on their side and that He will come to their aid. Al-Baghdadi further says that those mujahideen will never abandon fighting. In that regard, he says that the crusade (i.e. the coalition campaign) launched against ISIS will only increase the ISIS mujahideen's steadfastness in their beliefs as well as their determination to reach their goal.

Turning to the issue of the coalition campaign against ISIS, Al-Baghdadi confirms that it has been the most severe and fiercest campaign thus far. Still, he says, it has been also the "most failing and disappointing" as well. "We see American and its allies stumbling between fear, weakness, inability, and failure," Al-Baghdadi says. He also notes that the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, and their lackeys from the Arab regimes were all "terrified by the Islamic State." The Jews, he says, have also been frightened by ISIS. Al-Baghdadi says that ISIS's enemies' fear stems from their concern over their economy, and from the fact that they might no longer be able to enjoy the wealth and goods of the Muslims, whom he says they have been sucking dry and whose assets they have until now been keeping for themselves. Al-Baghdadi says that they are also fearful about the return of the caliphate, as well as Muslims' return to pioneering and leadership. In that regard, Al-Baghdadi says that the Crusaders' and Jews' fear of ISIS is seen "clearly and evidently." One example that he notes in that regard is the fact that the former couldn't launch a military campaign against ISIS until they gathered the support they needed from "their salves and dogs" from Muslim countries.

Speaking about the participation of Arab jetfighters in the anti-ISIS airstrikes, Al-Baghdadi says that such participation was for show only, and that it was geared at convincing Muslims that the campaign was not a crusade but merely an attack against extremists and the corrupt. "The Jews and Crusaders are not in need of effeminate pilots from the soldiers of the Gulf rulers," Al-Baghdadi said.  

Al-Baghdadi reiterates the U.S.'s and its allies' powerless against ISIS, and underlines that they could not stop ISIS from establishing its caliphate before, pushing them eventually for a direct confrontation with it. The military campaign against ISIS, according to Al-Baghdadi, was preceded by the "largest campaign of forgery, falsification, distortion, and slander against the Islamic State" aimed at decreasing the support for it. That campaign however, he says, has failed, and instead "the patrons of the Islamic State and its supporters and soldiers are increasing…"

Continuing to speak about the aerial campaign against ISIS, Al-Baghdadi notes that it has failed. He also says that the Crusaders and Jews will soon be forced to send their ground forces to fight ISIS and that those forces will face death and destruction. "Here is Obama who has ordered the deployment of 1,500 additional soldiers under the claim that they are advisors…" said Al-Baghdadi in reference to the November 7 U.S.'s decision to send additional troops to fight ISIS. Al-Baghdadi also notes that the bombardment of ISIS has failed to stop it from advancing and has not weakened its resolve. The Islamic State, Al-Baghdadi reassures his audience, is in "the best condition." He also says that ISIS will continue to expand: "By Allah's promise, they will be victorious. And the march of the mujahideen will continue until they reach Rome…" In that regard, Al-Baghdadi announces the expansion of ISIS into new regions past Iraq and Syria. It is noteworthy that his comment comes in light of a number of pledges of allegiance from individuals and groups in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, and North Africa. "Glad tidings, O Muslims, for we give you good news by announcing the expansion of the Islamic State to new lands, to the lands of al-Haramayn [Saudi Arabia] and Yemen… to Egypt, Libya, and Algeria," Al-Baghdadi says. He also notes that those pledges of allegiance have been accepted by ISIS, and says that the former names of the groups that joined ISIS will now be null and void. Al-Baghdadi also announces the formation of new wilayat (provinces) in those regions that have joined ISIS, and the appointment of wulat (governors) to govern them.  Al-Baghdadi further calls upon the new ISIS members to migrate to the closest province to them, and to "hear and obey the wali appointed by us for it."

Addressing the new ISIS members in Saudi Arabia, Al-Baghdadi says that the "serpent's head," a reference to the Saudi monarchy, is within their reach, and that they should attack it: "Draw your swords and break their sheaths… for there will be no security nor rest for Al Salul [derogatory term for Al Saud] and their soldiers after today," Al-Baghdadi says. He also says that there is no place for the mushrikin (polytheists) in the Arabian Peninsula. Interestingly, however, Al-Baghdadi sets the priorities for those new members in regard to the enemies they should target: he says that the Rafidites (Shi'ites) should be targeted first; next, the Saudi monarchy and its soldiers; and last, the "Crusaders and their [military] bases." The former is in line with ISIS's general strategy of targeting Shi'ites (i.e. the "close enemy") first instead of the "far enemy" (i.e. the U.S.). Al-Baghdadi also expresses his hope that by targeting the Saudi monarchy, the latter's efforts in fighting ISIS will be impacted. Al-Baghdadi also promises those in Saudi Arabia that ISIS men will reach them at one point: "Deal with the Rafidah [Shi'ites], Al Salul, and their soldiers. Dismember their limbs. Snatch them as groups and individuals. Embitter their lives and make them occupied with themselves instead of us. Be patient and do not hasten. Soon… the vanguards of the Islamic State will reach you."

Addressing ISIS members in Yemen, Al-Baghdadi calls upon them to fight the Houthis, and to be certain that victory is on their side. He also informs them that the Houthis' wealth and arms will eventually fall into their hands as booty.

Addressing ISIS members in the Sinai, a reference to the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group which recently joined ISIS, Al-Baghdadi congratulates them on their jihad against the Egyptian regime and the Jews. He also urges them to remain patient, "for Allah will support you," he says.

He urges ISIS members in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco to fight the secularists. "There is no good in you if you surrender the lands to the sons of secularism as long as you have a blinking eye. There is no good in you if they are secure and happy while you have a pulsing vein," he says.

To ISIS soldiers in general, Al-Baghdadi calls upon them to continue their fight, for, he says, they are the victorious ones: "O soldiers of the Islamic State, continue to harvest the soldiers. Erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire upon all the tawaghit, their soldiers, and supporters… Carry on, as you are the superior. Carry on, as you are the victorious…"  


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