BEIRUT: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name on Thursday, saying his self-declared caliphate was expanding there and in four other Arab countries.
Baghdadi also said a US.-led military campaign against his group in Syria and Iraq was failing and he called for “volcanoes of jihad” the world over.
Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity of the speech – an audio recording carried on Islamic State-run social media. The voice sounded similar to a previous speech delivered by Baghdadi in July in a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in July, the last time he spoke in public.
It followed contradictory accounts out of Iraq after US. air strikes last Friday about whether he was wounded in a raid. The United States said on Tuesday it could not confirm whether he was killed or wounded in Iraq following a strike near the city of Falluja.
Baghdadi urged supporters in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, to take the fight to the rulers of the kingdom, which has joined the US.-led coalition in mounting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria.
“O sons of al-Haramayn…the serpent’s head and the stronghold of the disease are there…draw your swords and divorce life, because there should be no security for the Saloul,” Baghdadi said, using a derogatory term to refer to the leadership of Saudi Arabia.
Haramayn is a reference to the two holiest places in Islam — both of them in Saudi Arabia.
The speech was not dated but carried a reference to a Nov. 7 US. announcement that President Barack Obama had approved sending up to 1,500 more US. troops to Iraq.
Islamic State has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate over territory it controls in June. Baghdadi said he had accepted oaths of allegiance from supporters in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria.
“We announce to you the expansion of the Islamic State to new countries, to the countries of the Haramayn, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Algeria,” he said in the speech, in which he spoke at length on his group’s expansion.
“We announce the acceptance of the pledges of allegiance of the brothers who swore loyalty to us in these countries… and the appointment governors.”
Although supporters have pledged allegiance to Islamic State in countries including Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Baghdadi singled out only those five states, picking countries where sympathisers have a strong base and could mount attacks.
He added, however: “Oh soldiers of the Islamic State…erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire against all dictators.”
Referring to U.S.-led military action against his group, he said: “Despite this Crusade campaign being the most fierce and severe of all, it is the greatest failure.”
“We see America and its allies stumbling in fear, weakness, impotence and failure.” The speech was transcribed in Arabic and translated into English.
Obama has said the United States aims to degrade and eventually destroy Islamic State, which has reshaped the Middle East by seizing large areas of Iraq and Syria and is imposing its radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.
Since Islamic State launched an offensive in Iraq in June, Riyadh has sent thousands of troops to the border area.
In June, King Abdullah pledged to take “all measures” to protect Saudi Arabia from Islamic State, which it has labelled a terrorist organisation.
At least 1,000 army soldiers, 1,000 national guardsmen and three helicopter units have arrived to reinforce the border area near the town of Arar since Islamic State’s advance in June, the commander of Saudi border guards in the area said in July.
Referring to Yemen, where Shia Houthis captured the capital Sanaa in September, forcing the government to resign, he said: “Oh soldiers of Yemen…be harsh against the Houthis, they are infidels and apostates. Fight them and win against them.”
Baghdadi also congratulated supporters in Egypt’s Sinai for starting jihad against what he called the “dictators of Egypt”. He also urged supporters in Libya, Algeria and Morocco to prevent secular groups from ruling.
Interesting article by Professor Anne Speckhard one of the worlds leading authorities on deradicalisation
Originally posted on Anne Speckhard, Ph.D.:
“Love” and romance are often underestimated motivators for joining the militant jihad as recently witnessed in the case of Denver teen, Shannon Maureen Conley who was arrested April 8, 2014 while trying to board a flight in Denver with the goal of traveling to Syria to join ISIS.
Nineteen-year-old Conley, who converted to Islam while a junior in high school, had struck up an online romance with a thirty-two year old Tunisian ISIS fighter who she communicated with via Skype.
Self-educated in militant jihad ala the “University of Jihad” presently available to all via the Internet, Conley had come to believe that Islamic jihad and fighting with a group like ISIS was the only way to rectify the so called injustices being done against the Muslim world. Conley came to believe that she was called to wage war against “Kafirs” (non-Muslims) and that U.S. law enforcement, government employees and military…
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One wonders how the racism that is so much a part of U.S. and Israeli society towards the Palestinians can have such strength. Racism against African-Americans in both countries is strong (witness the frequent shootings of black youths by whites in the United States, and the very high acquittal rates of those perpetrators, if they are even charged with a crime, and Israel’s rampant violence again people of African descent), and now racism is financing genocide. A look at some of the possible factors is interesting, frightening and disheartening.
1) Palestinians speak Arabic. An estimated 295,000,000 people in the world, about 4% of the world’s population, speak Arabic, but it is not spoken commonly in the United States, so it must be an inferior language. Bilingual Americans tend to learn French or Spanish in high school as their second language. The Arabic alphabet is far different from the English alphabet, and civilized people, we all know, should adopt the U.S. way of doing things.
2) Palestinians are often Muslim. This means that they read the Koran, not the Bible, the book of scripture that is chosen to be ignored in the U.S. Now if citizens in the U.S. chose to ignore the Koran, that would be different. But it is difficult to ignore something one fears, even if it is a book.
Additionally, their churches have rounded roofs and towers, unlike the Christian churches commonly seen in the U.S. And they call them ‘mosques’, not churches, or even temples. So what if some of them have been standing for hundreds and hundreds of years; nary a cross is seen on them, so they can’t be real houses of worship, like those large, ornate buildings in the U.S. that are generally mostly empty on Sundays.
3) Palestinians dress differently. This means that, especially for women, the clothing they wear is far different from what is generally seen in the West. Headscarves and long cloaks, regardless of the weather, are part of their religious practices, but for many Americans and Israelis, if their clothing looks different from what they wear, the wearers must be odd, and probably inferior. After all, they haven’t adopted the more western culture of showing off one’s body anywhere at any time. That they don’t adhere to these enlightened views obviously shows their inferiority.
4) Both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, all that is left of Palestine, are impoverished areas. And Israel is a prosperous nation, with tourists flocking to its glittering cities, and with world-class universities, so it must be populated by better people. It isn’t necessary to look beneath the surface, and recognize that if the U.S. gave Palestine $3 billion a year, as it gives Israel, Palestine, too, would be a progressive, prosperous nation. Conversely, if the money tap from the U.S. to Israel were to be suddenly shut off, that country would quickly descend into poverty.
5) Palestinians look different. They don’t have the desired ‘WASPy’ appearance that U.S. citizens commonly see advertising products, and that are worshipped on movie screens. This is a factor that hasn’t changed much in over one hundred years. Let us see what Indiana State Senator Albert Beveridge said about U.S. soldiers fighting in the Philippines, in 1898:
“Everywhere the pale blue or gray eye, everywhere the fair skin, everywhere the tawny hair and beard…. Here thoroughbred soldiers from the plantations of the South, from the plains and valleys and farms of the west, look the thoroughbred, physically considered. The fine line is everywhere. The nose is straight, the mouths is sensitive and delicate….The whole face and figure is the face and figure of the thoroughbred fighter who has always been the fine- featured, delicate-nostriled, thin-eared and generally clean-cut featured man.”
For Senator Beveridge then, and many U.S. citizens today, the features described above do indeed indicate the human ‘thoroughbred’. Palestinians simply don’t qualify.
6) The news media says they are all terrorists. In recent days, with every cease-fire ending, Israel has said that the Palestinians have violated the agreement, although Western journalists in Gaza have not reported this to be the case. But if the news media says it, it must be true. So what if more than half the population is under the age of 17; one never knows what a child sleeping in his or her crib could be capable of doing.
So there we have it. Language, religion, dress, socio-economic status and physical appearance, enforced by a media more determined to entertain than to educate, all combine to prove to a naïve and ignorant public that the Palestinians are somehow less valuable than other humans. Would there be any other reason for the U.S. to finance and fully support a racist, apartheid regime?
The U.S. has a long history of inventing enemies, and then convincing the populace that they are somehow less than human. During the U.S. war against Vietnam, it was “… common knowledge that when GIs weren’t calling the Vietnamese gooks, dinks, slants, and slopes, they could be heard calling them Indians, and their habitat, Indian country. The purpose was clear: perceive the Vietnamese as subhuman (Erick Erickson called this ‘pseudo-speciation’), then righteously exterminate them.” A solider from that war who witnessed, but didn’t participate in, the My Lai massacre said this: “A lot of those people wouldn’t think of killing a man. I mean, a white man – a human so to speak.”
Today, they are not Palestinians, but Hamas. Since the U.S. years ago determined that Hamas is a terrorist organization, since it offered something to the Palestinian people that the U.S. and Israel didn’t then and don’t now want to give them, they are the ‘enemy’ and not human. Hamas had the audacity to offer health care and employment to Palestinians, and to break from the weak and corrupt U.S. and Israeli puppet government of Fatah. So killing ‘Hamas terrorists’ is perfectly acceptable to people who believe the lie that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and then everyone in the Gaza Strip, including children, toddlers and newborns, is fair game for Israeli bombs.
As people the world over are horrified, not by what is reported by the news media, but by what is seen on social media, things are changing. Racism and genocide are finally being recognized. Not with the majority in the U.S. and Israel: U.S. citizens are too complacent to question their own government, and Israeli citizens enjoy watching the slaughter of the people who reside in Israel’s colony. But even in the U.S. and Israel, things are changing, but not as fast as in the rest of the world. The U.S. is already seen by much of the world as one huge terrorist organization, due to its constant wars and bombings, and its financing of Israeli terrorism is now coming under international question.
Israel is increasingly feeling the pain of the marginalization in the world community that it has earned, and so richly deserves. The blood of innocent Palestinians is paying a high price for that pain, but it will ultimately lead to their freedom. World citizens must increase their efforts to make this happen.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).
 Don Ringnalda, Fighting and Writing the Vietnam War, (University Press of Mississippi, 2008), 20.
 Sergeant Scott Camil, The Winter Soldier Investigation. An Inquiry in to American War Crimes, (Beacon Press, 1972) 14.
I beseech You to increase my determination to come to the aid of the oppressed, to help the weak, and give shelter to the displaced. Let me never find myself among the ranks of the oppressors, sinners, tyrants, and liars.
O Allah! I beseech You that I always speak the truth whether I am pleased or displeased, that I value what I have whether I am in wealth or poverty, and that I fear You openly and in secret. Inspire me to say what will win Your favor and not Your anger, nor the anger of those You love.
O Allah! Whenever you give me the opportunity to speak, let me speak the truth, and let me do so in a good and proper manner.
O Allah! I seek refuge with You that I should ever speak falsely or ever cover up an iniquity, or ever be deceived in my faith.
O Allah! Inspire me to be sincere to You in all that I say, seeking Your pleasure. Make my purpose to use what You have given me in a way that You love.
O Allah! Make me one of the righteous people who proclaim: “My Lord! For what you have given me, I will never be a supporter the wrongdoers.” [Sūrah al-Qasas: 17]
O Allah! Let me never for even a single day be a supporter of falsehood, or an advocate for iniquity, or a protector of vested interests. Protect me from bigotry, ignorance and deviance.
O Allah! You know my weakness and how I am unable to utter everything I wish to say, and You know my utterances which can sometimes be misinterpreted, and the accountability which may or may not befall. You know my hesitation to pay the price for saying certain things. So bless me with Your pardon and mercy what will cover up for my lapses and for when I fear the people.
O Allah! Bestow upon me courage, strength, the resolve to please You, and the desire for the Hereafter which will inspire met for the rest of my life to undertake the weighty trust that the heavens, the Earth, and the mountains refused to bear, but that humanity has undertaken though they are ignorant and sinful, a trust that I intend and aspire to uphold.
O Allah! Make me of those who speak a good, true word that is firmly rooted and whose branches extend far and wide, a clear word which is not constrained by impositions nor distorted by deceptions.
Inspire me to utter that word, even if it is against my own self, my parents, my children, or my closest friends, and even if it benefits my enemy. Let the hatred of a people never cause me to sway from doing them justice.
O Allah! I have indeed oppressed myself, but protect me form ever oppressing others or being oppressed by them. Remove from me and from all your creatures the harm and abuse they suffer from. Never let anyone have power over us to compel us to what is untrue or obstruct us from what You have granted us and permitted us.
O Allah! I know I might say something true that will benefit a resident, a citizen, a neighbor, or an advice-seeker, but remain silent fearing the consequences. So I beseech You, my Lord, to bless me with the wisdom and insight to see the truth for what it is and to see falsehood for what it is, and to guide me to know what to say and when and how to say it. Pardon me for the wavering of my heart and the hesitation of my tongue. Bestow Your grace upon me by giving me the firm resolve to do what is right, engage in righteousness, and remain free from sin.
My Lord! Bless us to be among the believers who stand firm in justice as witnesses for You to all people near and far, friend and foe, and even against ourselves, our parents, and our children. It is a difficult thing except for those You choose to bless and make it easy for them.
My Lord! I seek refuge with You from being needy while blessed with Your providence, or going astray while blessed with Your guidance, or being humiliated while graced with Your might, or coming to harm in Your dominion, or being persecuted while all affairs are in Your hand.
My Lord! Bestow upon me an open heart, an enlighten soul, and a strong personality to help me in doing what You love of supporting the weak, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the distraught, and the grief-stricken. Make this my life’s solace, my heart’s joy, my preoccupation, and the sweetness of my eyes.
My Lord! Make me participate with this spirit as long as there are needy people on Earth. Bless me in what You give me, and spare me from tribulations. Bless my heart to love the people of righteousness and bless me to have their love in return, and make us all righteous people.
The landscape of jihad is wildly different today from just a decade ago.
Then we had known centres of radical activism like the Finsbury Park Mosque and hate preachers such as Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Hamza.
All these preachers have now been removed from the country. But in many respects preachers and mosques no longer matter.
Much has been written about the role of the internet in the radicalisation of some Muslims.
The ubiquity of social media has meant that hundreds of foreign fighters now openly tweet, blog and Instagram their experiences.
They are easily accessible, providing a line of communication between aspirant jihadists and those already fighting.
This is why the British authorities are struggling to deal with this new form of preaching a message.
If you shut a Twitter account a new one can be opened. And then another. And another.
Scour the account of any Syrian jihadist from the West and you’ll find scores of questions from men back home asking how to emigrate, how to evade the authorities, what level of fitness is required – even whether hair gel is available in rebel-held areas.
One jihadist from Manchester issued a checklist of things for potential fighters to bring with them, including toilet roll, indigestion tablets and an iPad.
This has a uniquely powerful effect on those considering joining the fight.
It humanises the fighters and makes their dangerous journeys into Syria seem entirely normal. It seduces others into acting themselves.
Pictures also serve as a powerful recruiting tool.
British fighters not only publish cocksure pictures of themselves with guns, tanks and other hardware but also of everyday life – fighters playing football, swimming and enjoying feasts.
Closing accounts does remove a source of radicalisation but also destroys a rich vein of intelligence – watch enough accounts and you can assemble all sorts of information.
While the challenges of internet radicalisation are not unique, the dramatic rise of social media has made a difficult problem even more challenging.