Contrary to recent media reports of his death, ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appears to be very much alive and has sent out an audio tape today urging Muslims worldwide to join the jihadi group.
Daily Caller The message, whose title is translated as “March Forth Whether Light or Heavy,” relies heavily on Quranic passages and arcane myths about the end of the world. The leader uses them to argue that “there is no excuse for any Muslim who is capable of performing hijrah [immigration] to the Islamic State, or capable of carrying a weapon where he is.” The English translation used here was released simultaneously by official Islamic State channels.
He goes on to insist to his audience that “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.” The translated by official channels as “war,” qitāl, is not the most common Arabic word for war, and more frequently translated as “fighting” or “combat.”
He also denounces “America and its allies from amongst the Jews, Crusaders, Rāfidah (Shiites), secularists, atheists, and apostates,” dismissing as lies the claim that the U.S.-led military campaign against his group “is to aid the weak and oppressed, help the poor, relieve the afflicted, liberate the enslaved, defend the innocent and peaceful, and prevent the shedding of their blood.” Sunni Arab allies of the United States, meanwhile, he calls “guard dogs.”
In recent weeks, rumors have circulated about Baghdadi’s death or incapacitation in the U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the group in Syria and Iraq. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense claims that his deputy, a man named Abu Alaa al-Afri, was killed in recent weeks — a claim the Pentagon denies.