The Islamic State has released an audio recording allegedly of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he mocks the United States for not sending troops to fight the “caliphate” and threatens Israel.
In the 24-minute-long recording released December 26, the man identified by ISIS-affiliated social media accounts as leader al-Baghdadi says that Americans will not fight the Islamic extremists because “their hearts are full of fear from the mujahideen.”
Though the social media accounts linked to ISIS say that it is al-Baghdadi speaking in the recording, it has not otherwise been verified if it is in fact the terrorist leader. Al-Baghdadi has not been seen or heard from since May 2015.
It is not clear when the newly-released audio was recorded as it makes no reference to the November attacks in Paris or the Russian airplane taken down in Egypt.
In the recording the leader encourages his soldiers to continue fighting.
“Soldiers of the Islamic State be patient because you are on the right path,” al-Baghdadi says in the recording. “Be patient, because God is with you.”
The head of the Islamic State also taunts the United States in the recording.
"America and its allies dream of destroying the caliphate through their proxies and henchmen, and whenever an alliance of theirs fails or a tail is cut, they hasten to establish another, until they recently declared the Salouli (Saudi) alliance that was falsely called Islamic," al-Baghdadi said.
Al-Baghdadi also threatened Israel, warning that “we are getting closer to you” every day.
He encouraged Muslims around the world to join the Islamic State’s fight, saying that it is their duty as Muslims to rise up.
An interesting part in the latest audio recording is that al-Baghdadi admits that ISIS has recently suffered hardship, though he is still confident that the group remains powerful.
"Then we were struck by hardship and strife ... and God's trial intensified ... so much so that the Islamic State was driven out from areas it conquered and controlled ... and the land has narrowed down on us ... to the point where the Islamic State enemies thought they defeated and exterminated it,” the ISIS leader said.
ISIS has been facing an offensive Saudi-led Islamic military coalition against terrorism in the Middle East. The United States is also backing a ground offensive made up of Syrian rebels.
According to a recent analysis by research firm IHS, the Islamic State’s caliphate shrunk in 2015 by approximately 14 percent. The analysis also state that ISIS has consistently lost lost territory every month in 2015.
There were no specific threats against Western countries made in al-Baghdadi’s recording, though he did say that any countries attacking the Islamic State will “pay the price dearly.”