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. Continue reading
The leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, gave an untitled speech on January 19, 2014. It was a response to the Syrian rebellion having launched a full-scale offensive against ISIS on January 3, 2014, which had driven them from large swathes of territory in northern Syria and was ongoing at the time. The rebel offensive continued for six months—until Mosul fell to ISIS in June, and the captured resources were fed into eastern Syria, breaking the rebels. Al-Baghdadi struck a relatively conciliatory note, though did accompany this with threats, should the rebels continue resisting the jihadists. A translation of the speech was made by Pieter Van Ostaeyen, and is reproduced below. Continue reading
The leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his first public appearance on July 4, 2014, delivering the khutbat al-jum’a (Friday prayer) at the Great Mosque, also known as the Nuri Mosque or Zangi Mosque, in Mosul. A translation of al-Baghdadi’s speech was made by INSITE Blog on Terrorism and Extremism and is reproduced below. Continue reading
In an audio message released on 1 July 2014, two days after the Islamic State announced the restoration of the caliphate, the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, laid out the Islamic State’s vision. The Islamic State put out an English version of the speech, which is reproduced below with some minor editions and some interesting sections highlighted in bold. Continue reading
The emir of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released an audio message on 14 June 2013, “Baqiya fil-Iraq wa-Sham” (Remaining in Iraq and Syria), rejecting al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s decision to send his group back to Iraq and to leave ISI’s Syrian branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, in Syria as al-Qaeda’s branch in that country. A translation of al-Baghdadi’s speech was released by his group and is reproduced below. Continue reading
Al-Qaeda expelled the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from its ranks on February 3, 2014. This was the culmination of a dispute that broke into the public eye with ISIS’s declaration in April 2013, an effort by ISIS’s emir, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to formally subsume the secret Syrian wing of the then-Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), known as Jabhat an-Nusra, under his own banner, and the rejection of both al-Nusra’s leadership and al-Qaeda’s to this move. In truth, the schism between ISIS and al-Qaeda has its roots all the way back to the beginning, when ISIS became al-Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia (AQM), in 2004.
Below is the transcript of the audio address by al-Baghdadi, released by al-Furqan on 8 April 2013, entitled, “Give Good News to the Believers: The Declaration of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. Some transliterations have been altered, the syntax has been cleared up, and some interesting or important sections highlighted in bold. Continue reading