ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has reportedly been injured since March, has released an audio message calling on Muslims to emigrate to the ‘Islamic State’.
In the message released by ISIS’ al-Furqan media outlet, Baghdadi declares that it is the duty of every Muslim to ‘migrate to the Islamic state’.
“Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting,” says Baghdadi in the audio message.
“No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels.”
The latest message comes after Iraq’s Ministry of Defence announced that ISIS’ acting chief-commander and second-in-command Abdul Rahman Mustafa Mohammed, also known as Abu Alaa Al-Afri, had been killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in northern Iraq.
According to spokesman Brigadier-General Tahsin Ibrahim, the second-in-command had been meeting with dozens of militants at the mosque who were also killed in the strike.
Iraq’s Ministry of Defence later released a video purporting to show the airstrike that eliminated al-Afri.
Sources had told the Guardian that Afri had been running ISIS after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been wounded, with suspected spinal damage, in an airstrike.
Thousands of civilians and security forces members have been killed, raped and tortured by the terrorist organization since 2014.