A report published Friday apparently contains new comments from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but he didn’t make any mention of the Paris attacks that left more than 120 people dead on Friday.
ISIS militants “will never abandon fighting. Even if only one soldier remained, they will never abandon fighting because they defy humiliation and injustice,” he said in the latest recording, according to Global News, the news division of the Global Television Network in Canada. The report apparently includes audio of al-Baghdadi speaking. However, it’s unclear when it was recorded.
“We see America and its allies stumbling between fear, weakness, inability, and failure,” he apparently said. “America, Europe, Australia, Canada … were terrified by the Islamic State.”
“Due to the fear of their allies and their weakness, they are unable to prevent the Muslims from the Khilafah,” he said, referring to the official political system of Islam. The U.S. and its allies, he added, “are unable to send ground forces to fight the mujahideen.”
And in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks, an article from early 2014 is now going viral that contains comments from the ISIS chief talking about his group potentially fighting against America. He issued an audio message in January 2014, saying the group would move into “direct confrontation” with the United States.
“Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day,” al-Baghdadi said at the time in early 2014. “So watch, for we are with you, watching.”
In May, he made comments for all Muslims to join jihad. “There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State … Joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are,” he said six months ago.
Baghdadi reportedly ordered Paris attacks
Before the Paris attacks, Iraqi intelligence apparently sent a dispatch saying al-Baghdadi ordered an attack on coalition countries fighting against them in Syria and Iraq, and also on Iran and Russia. They would occur “through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days,” a source told AP on Sunday.
Six senior Iraqi officials corroborated the attack information in the recent dispatch, and four of the officials said they specifically warned France of a potential attack, the AP report said.
While there have been reports speculating on al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts, a recent report said he’s currently in Nineveh, Iraq.
“This evening, al-Baghdadi as well as a group of the Arab and foreign leaders of the ISIS organization arrived in Nineveh coming from the area of Albu Kamal,” a source told the ABNA outlet last week. The source noted, “His arrival was not in the form of a large convoy.” The source added, “Al-Baghdadi entered Nineveh amid complete secrecy.”
On Sunday, French aircraft started pounding an ISIS stronghold in Syria. At least 12 jets have dropped 20 bombs on 30 different targets in Syria. Sky News reported that French planes hit a jihadi training camp, recruitment center, and a weapons depot.
It’s not clear if any ISIS militants or civilians were killed in the airstrikes.
At least 132 people were killed in the terrorist attacks across Paris that started Friday night. Hundreds more were wounded, many seriously.
France’s President Francois Hollande described the attacks as “an act of war.”
The French Ministry of Defense said the strikes were launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
Activists in Raqqa said the power and water was cut off due to the airstrikes, AP reported.