ISIS

ISIS: Baghdadi Is Alive and Saudi Arabia Is Our Next Target

Nov 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM ET

After roughly a week of speculation over the fate of its leader, the Islamic State (ISIS) released what it says is a speech from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi today in which the head of the makeshift caliphate calls for attacks against Saudi Arabia, among other things.

“There will be no security, no rest for Al-Salul,” the ISIS leader purportedly says, referring to the ruling family of Saudi Arabia. “Draw your swords.”

In the 16-minute speech, which ISIS also translated into English and made available online, Baghdadi allegedly calls on his followers to first attack Shiites, then proceed to combat Saudi Arabia and the U.S., which has military bases on the Arabian Peninsula.

The alleged statement comes after rumors that the United States-led coalition had killed Baghdadi last Saturday in an airstrike near Mosul. Earlier in the day, hundreds of ISIS supporters on Twitter and in jihadi forums were frantically posting about the prospect of a statement, which many believed would be released by an ISIS spokesman.

Translation: “I am sitting in front of the Twitter and waiting for any new tweet about the speech.” 

The authenticity of the speech could not be confirmed. But the man purporting to be the head of the world’s most notorious jihadi group congratulated a spate of groups that pledged allegiance to ISIS earlier this week, including Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt’s deadliest militant organization. The reference to the new groups appeared to indicate that the man purporting to be the ISIS leader delivered the speech after the American-led airstrikes occurred.

Over the last few days, as ISIS announced the pledges of the new militants, many had wondered whether the makeshift caliphate was actually growing stronger or just trying to show resilience in the aftermath of the American-led attack.

In the speech, the alleged ISIS leader sought to reassure any naysayers. “Be assured, O Muslims, for your state is good and in the best condition,” he says. “Its march will not stop and will continue to expand.

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