The newly-formed Islamic State released a video of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the group’s emir, who has been named Caliph Ibrahim. The 21-minute video (above) shows Baghdadi, also known as Abu Du’a, speaking at the Grand Mosque in the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, which was captured by the jihadist group on June 10.
In the short sermon, Baghdadi urges Muslims to wage jihad and plays the role of the humble servant. Translation below is from the SITE Intelligence Group:
I have been plagued with this great matter, plagued with this responsibility, and it is a heavy responsibility. I was placed as your caretaker, and I am not better than you. So if you found me to be right then help me, and if you found me to be wrong then advise me and make me right and obey me in what I obey Allah through you. If I disobey Him then there is no obedience to me from you. I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregation, of luxury, security, and relaxation; instead, I promise you what Allah promised His faithful worshipers.
As Baghdadi walks up to the pulpit, he appears to struggle a bit, as if he had recently been injured. Although Baghdadi was rumored to have been injured months ago in Syria, the reports were never confirmed.
Baghdadi, who leads the jihadist group that controls vast areas in both Iraq and Syria, was previously thought to have been residing in the Syrian city of Raqqah, which is also under the control of the Islamic State.
The video is the first to show Baghdadi, who previously has not appeared in public. The sermon is the second statement by Baghdadi that has been released by the Islamic State in the past five days.
On July 1, the Islamic State released a statement from Baghdadi in which he “issued ‘a special call’ to religious workers as well as for ‘people with military, administrative, and service expertise, and medical doctors and engineers of all different specializations and fields,'” according to the SITE Intelligence Group.