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On August 22, 2018, Al-Furqan, one of the media arms of the Islamic State (ISIS), released an audio statement featuring the organization's leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi threatening the U.S. and Russia and calling on ISIS supporters in the West to carry out attacks using guns, knives, bombs, and vehicles. In the statement, titled "Glad Tidings to the Steadfast," which was posted on multiple pro-ISIS Telegram channels and Twitter accounts, Al-Baghdadi also called for the killing of secular people, apostates, and atheists, and urged Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Jordan to oust their governments.
The following are the main points of his address:
The Mujahideen Do Not Measure Victory Or Defeat Based On The Liberation Or Loss Of A Particular City Or Village
Threatening Russia and the U.S., which he described as "the protectors of the cross," he said that what ISIS has prepared for them in Syria and everywhere "will make them forget what they experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Addressing the "sincere monotheists in this ummah in general, and in particular the generous mujahideen who remain steadfast on the battlefronts of Islam, the sons of monotheism who carry the message [of Islam], and the guardians of the [Islamic] creed in the world," he wished them a happy holiday and asked Allah to accept their deeds and grant victory to the Islamic State. Downplaying ISIS defeats and territory losses, Al-Baghdadi said that "the standard used by the mujahideen [for measuring] victory and defeat does not depend on a [particular] city or a village that had been liberated, nor does it depend on the enemy's aerial capabilities, intercontinental rockets, and smart bombs, or on [his] large number of allies and supporters... The two sides of the scale are based on the depth of one's belief in God's promise, commitment to monotheism and to the faith, and genuine willingness to fight the enemies of the religion... This is how the people of faith assess changes of circumstance."
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Al-Baghdadi then stressed that the only way to "bring glory to this religion... is to fight, seek martyrdom for [Allah's] cause, and challenge His enemies, the criminal unbelievers everywhere." He urged the monotheists and the mujahideen to remain steadfast and "follow in the footsteps of Allah's Prophets, who fear no one but Allah."
The U.S. Is Experiencing "The Worst Time In Its Modern History," Which Heralds Its Demise
Condemning the U.S., Al-Baghdadi said that it is now experiencing "the worst time in its modern history," which heralds its demise. According to him, the U.S. imposition of tariffs on Turkish goods and the pressure it is putting on Turkey to release the imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson are signs of U.S. weakness. The refusal of Iran, Russia, and North Korea to accept the sanctions the U.S. imposed on them is "a deliberate expression of disrespect" for the U.S. on the part of these countries, which have recognized its weakness. He credited the mujahideen with bringing the U.S. to this state, and downplayed the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, saying the war is ongoing and has not ended yet.
Addressing the Sunnis in Syria, Al-Baghdadi condemned them for taking part in the war on ISIS by forming local militias, and urged their fighters to repent their "apostasy" and join the Islamic State. He added that the Islamic State is here to stay, so if the Sunni people in Syria want to live in dignity, they have no choice but to "return to [their] religion and wage jihad against [their] enemy, because the point is not just to take up weapons, but to establish monotheism and apply the concept of walaa and baraa [i.e. loyalty to Muslims and hostility to non-Muslims], accepting the supremacy of shari'a and dying in order to realize it." He added that the "leaders of the cross" intend to "completely annihilate" the Sunnis in Syria, because they recently realized "that the Sunnis are the real danger and have to be removed." He also accused the "alliance of the Crusaders, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates" of helping the Shi'ites in Iraq to recover after ISIS had almost managed to defeat them.
Turning to the Sunnis in Iraq, Syria, and everywhere, he urged them to take up arms, seek death, and join ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sinai, Khorasan, Libya, West and Central Africa, East Asia, and the Caucasus, saying that the "sons of Islam have vowed that they will not put down their weapons and that the sons of the cross will not live in peace until Allah sends His judgment."
The Sunnis Of The Arabian Peninsula And Jordan Must Oust Their "Tyrannical" Regimes
As for the Sunnis in the Arabian Peninsula, he urged them to "shake off the dust of humiliation" and fight the Saudi regime, for the tyranny of the Saudi royal family, which is trying to "westernize and secularize" Saudi Arabia, is "clear to everyone." He also called on them to not rely on the establishment clerics, for they have "sold their religion to the tyrant." After accusing the Saudi government of supporting the Kurds in Syria and the Shi'ites in Iraq, Al-Baghdadi called on Muslims in "Hejaz, Najd, and Bahrain to... form brigades to oust those treasonous apostates [the Saudi royal family]." He also called on Sunnis in Jordan to remove their king.
Al-Baghdadi condemned the Sunnis of Iraq for fighting against ISIS and seeking help from the Shi'ites and Iran, and urged them to repent, saying that ISIS will forgive those who repent before they are captured or found.
Addressing the soldiers of the Caliphate in Iraq, Syria, Khorasan, Yemen, East Asia, West and central Africa, Somalia, Libya, Sinai, Najd, Hejaz, Tunisia, Algeria, Caucasia, and Kashmir, he urged them to remain steadfast, seek victory and martyrdom, and continue the journey. He also warned them not to quarrel over leadership. He assured imprisoned ISIS members that ISIS has not forgotten them and vowed to secure their release.
Al-Baghdadi warned ISIS supporters everywhere, whether online supporters or on the front lines, to trust no sources of news other than ISIS media outlets, and urged them to continue supporting the mujahideen.
"A Piercing Shot, A Deep Stab That Penetrates The Body, The Detonation Of A Car Bomb In Your Lands Is Equal [In Its Impact] To A Thousand Operations Here"
Calling for attacks in the West, Al-Baghdadi commended the "lions who have struck in the land of the cross, in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere, for their good deeds in support of their brothers." He added: "May Allah bless your efforts and accept your kind deeds. Oh supporters of the Caliphate, follow in their footsteps. Use whatever means you have, and rely on the Almighty, the Most High, and carry out the kind of strikes that terrorize the hearts and send brains flying. A piercing shot, a deep stab that penetrates the body, the detonation of a car bomb in your [Western] lands is equal [in its impact] to a thousand operations here, and do not disregard [the option of] running over people on the roads." He concluded by calling on ISIS soldiers and supporters to kill "secular people, atheists and apostates."
Source: Telegram.me/nashernews, August 22, 2018.