ISIS Claims Baghdadi Speaks in New Audio

ISIS has claimed that a new speech circulating online is delivered by group leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, in an apparent effort to thwart reports that he was gravely injured by a U.S. airstrike. The speaker in the new recording, which is nearly 35 minutes long, is introduced as Ibrahim, the Caliph of the Muslimsβ€”the name Baghdadi adopted when declaring the caliphate. “Speech will not benefit you without action, for there is no faith without action,” the man identified as Baghdadi says. He repeats his previous claim that hijrah, or immigration to the caliphate, is obligatory on all Muslims in an introduction that includes many Quranic references. “Islam was never a religion of peace,” he says.
The audio, intended to serve as proof of life, contains some references to recent limitations placed on Muslims in China and to the conflict in Yemen. However, the references are vague, referring simply to fighting against those who reject Allah. Baghadi also appears to reference Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen, which began on March 25 and was declared over at the end of April.