Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave his eighth speech since becoming the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), entitled, “Even if the Disbelievers Despise Such”, on November 13, 2014. The speech was notable for two things. First, it taunted the American-led coalition about the lack of success their campaign has had against ISIS since it began in June and was extended into Syria in September, and invited the U.S. and other Western states to deploy ground troops. Secondly, the speech accepted the pledges of allegiance from groups outside Syria and Iraq for the first time, from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the groups that have joined ISIS are unknown. In Egypt, the group is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (The Partisans of Jerusalem). In Libya, the group is al-Majlis Shura Shabab al-Islam (The Islamic Youth Consultation Council). And in Algeria the group is Jund al-Khalifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate). These areas will now become wilaya (provinces) of the caliphate, al-Baghdadi says, and ISIS will send a governor to oversee them. An English transcript of the speech was produced by ISIS and is reproduced below with important sections highlighted in bold.
Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, and seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our inner selves and the wickedness of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, then none can misguide him; and whomsoever Allah leads astray, none can guide him.
I testify that there is no god but Allah alone, who has no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. May Allah send blessings and peace upon him and upon his families and companions.
As for what follows:
Allah has obligated jihad [fighting] upon us, as He obliged prayer and fasting, for He said, “Jihad is ordained for you, though it is hateful to you” [Al-Baqarah (2): 216], and He said, “O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, [so] that you may become al-muttaqun (the pious, righteous)” [Al-Baqarah (2): 183].
Allah also made jihad the best of deeds and the peak of Islam. He placed the honour of the Muslims in jihad and imposed humiliation on those who abandoned it. Allah’s messenger said: “If you trade in inah (usury), pursue the tails of cattle, content yourselves with agriculture, and abandon jihad, then Allah will impose upon you humiliation which He will not remove until you return to your religion” [Sahih: reported by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud on the authority of Ibn Umar].
Allah also prepared a painful torment for those who stray back from jihad. He said, “If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all” [Al-Tawbah (9): 39].
And He ordered all with jihad, without making exception for anyone, for he said: “March forth, whether you are light [healthy] or heavy [old, ill]” [Al-Tawbah (9): 41].
He ordered jihad in all conditions, even if only one mujahid was left, for He said: “So fight in the cause of Allah; you are not taxed [with the responsibility for anyone] except yourself—and urge on the believers [to fight with you]” [Al-Nisa (4): 84].
And He promised those who fight for His cause victory and made triumph the outcome for the believers. He said: “Perhaps Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve” [Al-Nisa (4): 84]. And He said: “And verily, our word has preceded [us via] our slaves, the messengers, that, verily, they would be made triumphant, and that our host, they verily will be the victors” [Al-Saffat (37): 171-173]. And He said: “To help believers is ever incumbent upon us” [Rum (30): 47].
Thus, it is upon the Muslims to understand well and realise that jihad is obligatory upon each individual from amongst them, and that jihad is the best if deeds and the peak of Islam. Their honour and sublimity is by it, as is their wellbeing in al-dunya [the temporal world] and the hereafter. They must also realize that Allah will aid the mujahideen; this is inevitable. And thus, for this reason the soldiers of the Islamic State fight. They fight in obedience to Allah and to gain closeness to Him. They will never abandon fighting. Even if only one soldier of them remained, they will never abandon fighting, because they defy humiliation and injustice. They will never abandon fighting. Indeed, they are triumphant. They will be triumphant even if only one man of them is left. They are triumphant upon certainty of Allah’s support for them. So, glad tidings, O umma [community] of Islam, and expect good, for your sons from the soldiers of the Islamic State today are tougher and stronger and more determined—by Allah’s favour. This crusade has only increased their attachment to their manhaj [methodology], firmness upon their path, and determination to reach their goal. All praise is due to Allah.
And despite this crusade being from the most severe and fiercest of them, it is yet but the most failing and disappointing [campaign]. We see America and its allies stumbling between fear, weakness, inability, and failure. America, Europe, Australia, Canada, their apostate allies and slaves from amongst the rulers of the Muslims’ lands were terrified by the Islamic State. The Jews were frightened; they feared for their economy. They feared for the Muslims’ wealth and the good of our lands, which they plunder, suck dry, and enjoy themselves with, and fight us via their agents from among the treacherous rulers of the Muslims’ lands. They fear for their security. They fear the revolt of the Muslim peoples [against the Arab rulers]. They fear their defeat. They fear the return of the Caliphate and the return of Muslims to pioneering and leadership.
We see their fear of all this clearly and evidently. And we see their weakness. Due to their fear, they did not dare to start a campaign until after amassing with them their slaves and dogs from amongst the rulers of the Muslims’ lands. Their weakness does not lie in their need for the airplanes of their slaves, which they do not give them except after it goes out of military service for them. The Jews and Crusaders ae not in need of effeminate pilots from among the soldiers of the Gulf rulers, nor are they in need of their planes; the story of their participation in the crusade is just a media farce. Rather, the weakness of the Crusaders and their allies lies in their need for the criminal sorcerers from among the scholars of the tawaghit rulers of the Muslims’ lands, so they bewitch the peoples’ eyes and deceive the general Muslims with fatwa [rulings] issued from the Jews and disseminated by the crusaders, claiming that this war is not a crusade and that these people [i.e. the Islamic State] are khawarij and corrupting, not mujahideen. They do this via those sorcerers and fatwa to stand in the Muslims’ way of a return to the Caliphate and their rallying around the mujahideen in support of them. This is the secret behind the fear of the Jews and crusaders, and herein lies their weakness. Therefore, understand this well, O Muslims. Allah said: “Verily, you [believers in tawhid (monotheism)] are more awful as a fear in their breasts than Allah. That is because they are a people who do not comprehend [the majesty of Allah]. They will not fight against you, even together, except in fortified townships, or from behind walls. Their enmity among themselves is very great. You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people devoid of wisdom” [Al-Hashr (59): 13-14].
America and its allies are terrified, weak, and powerless. Due to their fear and weakness, the Jews covertly and stealthily participate in this crusade. They do not have the courage to announce this, out of fear of the Muslims. And due to their fear and weakness, they are unable to send ground forces to fight the mujahideen. And between this fear, weakness, and powerlessness, we see them stumbling in failure. The Jews and crusaders—through their proxies—failed in preventing the establishment of the Caliphate, and so they were forced into direct confrontation. The Jews, crusaders, and their allies, amassed all the ulama al-salatin [“scholars of the sultan (or ruler or regime)” or “palace scholars”] and utilized their trumpets, satellite stations, and media in the largest campaign of forgery, falsification, distortion, and slander against the Islamic State, so that the people would disband from about it and so as to reduce its supporters and followers. But they were unable to do so, and failed. Here now the patrons of the Islamic State and its supporters and soldiers are increasing with every escalation in the fierceness of their [failed media] campaign.
The leaders of the Jews, crusaders, apostates, their devils, chiefs, and seniors gathered. They thought, calculated, planned, plotted, and schemed for war against the Islamic State. They then came out with a failing plan, manifested by bombarding positions, battalions, vehicles, and soldiers of the Islamic State, with the purpose of preventing its advance and march. A plan manifested by arming, recruiting, and training armies of apostates, as well as striving to restructure the sahwat [awakening] so as to retake the cities conquered by the Islamic State. Quickly the failure of their plan became apparent, by Allah’s favour. And soon, the Jews and crusaders will be forced to come down to the ground and send their ground forces to their deaths and destruction, by Allah’s permission. Rather, in actuality this has already begun. Here is Obama, who has ordered the deployment of 1,500 additional soldiers under the claim that they are advisors, because the crusaders’ airstrikes and constant bombardment—day and night—upon the positions of the Islamic State have not prevented its advance, nor weakened its resolve. And the agents of the Jews and crusaders, their slaves, tails [tools, instruments], and dogs, could not hold out in the face of the Islamic State, and they will be defeated. And indeed the Muslims will be victorious. By Allah’s promise, they will be victorious. And the march of the mujahideen will continue until they reach Rome, by Allah’s permission. Therefore, be assured, O Muslims, of glad tidings. Be assured, for the crusaders’ plan and campaign are failures. Be assured, and do not believe their lying media and their claims of killing tens of mujahideen each day, destroying their bases and vehicles, and anything else o their lies and fear-mongering. Be assured, O Muslims, for your State is good and in the best condition. Its march will not stop and it will continue to expand, by Allah’s permission, even if the disbelievers despise such.
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 [“The Two Sanctuaries”, Mecca and Medina, i.e. Saudi Arabia] and Yemen, to Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. We announce the acceptance of the bay’a [oath of allegiance] of those who gave us bay’a in those lands, the nullification of the groups therein, and the announcement of new wilayat [provinces] for the Islamic State, and the appointment of wulat [governors] for them. We also announce the acceptance of bay’at given by the groups and individuals in all of the aforementioned wilayat and others. We ask every individual amongst them to join the closest wilaya to him, and to hear and obey the wali [provincial governor] appointed by us for it.
O sons of al-Haramayn. O people of tawhid. O people of wala wal-bara [loyalty to Muslims and Islam, and disavowal of unbelief and unbelievers]. The serpent’s head and the stronghold of disease are beside you. Thus, draw your swords and break their sheaths. Divorce the dunya, for there will be no security nor rest for Al-Salul [the munafiq (hypocrites), i.e. House of Saud] and their soldiers after today. There is no place for the mushrikun [idolaters, polytheists] in the peninsula of Muhammad. Draw your swords. Deal with the rafida [“rejectionists”; bigoted term for Shi’is], Al-Salul, and their soldiers. Dismember their limbs. Snatch [kidnap] them as groups and individuals. Embitter their lives and make them occupied with themselves instead of us. Be patient and do not hasten. Soon, inshallah [God willing], the vanguards of the Islamic State will reach you.
O soldiers of Yemen. O people of support and aid. O people of wisdom and faith. Be harsh against the Huthi rafida, for they are kufr [disbelieving] apostates. Fight them and overcome them. Be certain that their turn is coming and it will be in your favour, for the rafida are a forsaken nation. If they had found muwahideen [strict monotheists] to fight them, their evil would not have festered. Thus, seek Allah’s aid, for you can handle them, inshallah. Strike their shirk [polytheism, idolatry] with your tawhid, and Allah will break their strength. Allah will transfer their wealth and arms to you. You will seize it from their hands as ghanima [war booty] through which you will support Allah’s religion and continue to be the people of support.
O sons of aqeeda [creed] in beloved Sinai, congratulations and glad tidings. Congratulations to you, O men. Congratulations to you for you have carried the obligation of jihad against the tawaghit of Egypt [Abdelfattah al-Sisi]. Congratulations to you for you have supported Bayt al-Maqdis [Jerusalem]. Congratulations to you for you have terrified the Jews. What can we say to you, as you have broken your sheaths, burned your ships, and advanced, paving your path through stone, while being patient in the face of bitterness and holding onto coals. Be patient and have glad tidings, for Allah will support you.
And O lions of tawhid in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. O heroes of jihad. O descendants of Uqba, Tariq, and Ibn Tashifin. 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 [the heretics] are secure and happy while you have a pulsing vein. There is no good in you if you incline towards al-dunya, and desert or turn back [from jihad]. No, rather you were made for good and good was made for you. You are the fuel and support of every jihadi battleground, and rom amongst its leaders. We ask Allah to honour you, bless you, and grant you victory.
O soldiers of the Islamic State, continue to harvest the soldiers. Erupt the volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire upon all the tawaghit, their soldiers, and supporters, Carry on in your path, as you are the strong, by Allah’s permission. Carry on, as you are the honourable. Carry on, as you are the superior. Carry on, as you are the victorious—inshallah.
O Allah, there is no god but you. O bestower, originator of the heavens and the earth, possessor of majesty and honour: we fight for Your cause, fearing Your anger, and seeking Your approval. We did not go forth arrogantly, haughtily, flauntingly, or seeking fame. O Allah, all the armies of kufr from amongst the Jews, crusaders, atheists, and apostates gathered against us. They did so in opposition to Your religion, wishing to put out Your light. O Allah, we have no might nor strength, except by You. Therefore, O Allah, support Your soldiers and bring Your religion triumph. O Allah, deal with America and its allies. O Allah, harshen Your grip on them, support us against them with seven years like that of Yusuf. Defeat them with the worst defeats they will ever suffer. Divide their gatherings, split their body, dismember them completely, and make us raid them and prevent them raiding us.
There is no god but You. You are exalted. We ask your forgiveness and repent to You. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of creation.
 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s first statement was on May 9, 2011, after the death of Osama bin Laden. Al-Baghdadi’s second speech, on July 21, 2012, “Allah Will Not Allow Except that His Light Should Be Perfected”, among other things announced the “Breaking the Walls” campaign that freed so many of ISIS’s operatives from Iraqi prisons. Al-Baghdadi’s third speech, “Give Good News to the Believers”, was released on April 8, 2013, and announced ISIS’s formation—the attempt to publicly subsume ISIS’s then-Syrian branch, Jabhat an-Nusra. The fourth speech, “Remaining in Iraq and Syria”, was given on June 14, 2013, and rejected the ruling by al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that ISIS should contain its operations to Iraq and leave Nusra as al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. The fifth speech on January 19, 2014, which did not have a title, called for the Syrian opposition to cease it offensive against ISIS. The sixth speech, “A Message to the Mujahideen and the Muslim Umma in the Month of Ramadan”, was released on July 1, 2014, the first statement from al-Baghdadi since the caliphate declaration. And the seventh speech was the dramatic first appearance of the caliph to give the Friday sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul on July 4, 2014.