An audio recording of the Islamic State leader – who was previously reported dead from Russian airstrikes – purportedly resurfaced Wednesday evening on a website run by the extremist group.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged the group’s followers to respond to recent defeats by carrying out bombings, stabbings and vehicular attacks in his purported 55-minute speech titled “Give Glad Tidings to the Steadfast,” which was published by the group’s media wing on Wednesday.
“For the Mujahideen (holy warriors) the scale of victory or defeat is not dependent on a city or town being stolen or subject to that who has aerial superiority, intercontinental missiles or smart bombs,” al-Baghdadi said in the Arabic recording.
In the Wednesday recording, al-Baghdadi urged Islamic State supporters to “carry out the kind of strikes that terrorize the hearts and send the brains flying,” encouraging them to use guns, knives and bombs while reminding them to “not ignore running over people on the roads,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
He also instructed Islamic State fighters around the world — from Somalia, Libya and Yemen to Kashmir and the Caucasus — to focus on their battles rather than quarrel over leadership.
Also in his crosshairs were the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan, with al-Baghdadi calling on the citizens of those countries to rise up and overthrow their rulers.
The ISIS leader is considered the world’s most wanted man.
The report could not be immediately confirmed by Fox News. In an e-mailed statement, Army Col. Ryan Dillon said: “We cannot confirm these reports at this time.”
The Russian ministry said Friday that al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders.
It said the air raid on May 28 that targeted an IS meeting held on the southern outskirts of Raqqa in Syria also killed about 30 mid-level militant leaders and about 300 other fighters.