A map purportedly showing the areas ISIS plans to have under its control within five years
- Abu Bakr al-Baghdad released 19-minute audiotape online earlier today
- Made special call to those with practical skills such as doctors, judges and engineers to ‘answer the dire need of the Muslims for them’
- Comes as large weapon, believed to be a Scud, photographed in militants’ possession
- Seen being transported by masked men in city of Raqqa in Syria yesterday
- Raqqa is proclaimed capital of ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State
- Experts dismiss the idea, suggesting it is highly unlikely to be operable
A story I am keeping up with, and this is not good, Hitler said these things. The map above is what ISIS or whatever they call themselves now want to take control over. I don’t know what to think. Is this part of a plan or are these people a real danger. I have not been shy in connecting the USA to Al Qaeda and now ISIS. I have provided as much fact as I can, it is below
The leader of extremist group ISIS has called on Muslims to come to the territory his group has seized to help build an Islamic state. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, said in a 19-minute audiotape released online on Tuesday: ‘Muslims, rush to your state. Yes, it is your state.’ In the audio, posted on militant websites which have been used by the group before, the leader makes a special call to those with practical skills – such as scholars, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise – to come ‘answer the dire need of the Muslims for them’. He also calls on jihadi fighters to increase fighting in the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday. He said: ‘In this virtuous month or in any other month, there is no deed better than jihad in the path of Allah, so take advantage of this opportunity and walk the path of you righteous predecessors. ‘So to arms, to arms, soldiers of the Islamic, fight, fight.’ The tape was released online two days after the organisation unilaterally declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the land it controls, changing its name to the Islamic State. It also proclaimed al-Baghdadi the caliph – the head of state in a caliphate – and demanded that all Muslims around the world pledge allegiance to him.
Missile: Photographs show a large weapon being paraded on the back on a lorry surrounded by masked men in the Syrian city of Raqqa – the proclaimed capital of the new Sunni Muslim caliphate
Mystery: It is not known how the weapon ended up in the hands of ISIS, but social media accounts linked to militants fighting for the group in Iraq and Syria claimed they are now preparing it for use
Announcement: ISIS militants (pictured) are celebrating the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast stretches of the Middle East that have fallen under its control
Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world
The leader made a special call to those with practical skills to ‘answer the dire need of the Muslims for them’
Photographs show a large weapon being paraded on the back on a lorry surrounded by masked men in the Syrian city of Raqqa – the proclaimed capital of the new Sunni Muslim caliphate. Supporters of the jihadist group said the missile was a Scud, although experts analysing the images believe the weapon is almost certainly inoperable and highly unlikely to pose a threat. The weapon pictured being paraded by ISIS militants in Raqqa is believed to have been captured from another rebel group, the Free Syrian Army. The FSA are understood to have acquired the Soviet-built missile when it captured a military base from government forces in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria last September. It is not known how the weapon ended up in the hands of ISIS, but social media accounts linked to militants fighting for the group in Iraq and Syria claimed they are now preparing it for use. ‘Dawla Islamiyya (The Islamic State) has SCUD missile in #Raqqa. [God willing] its heading towards #Israel for a spectacular Eid ul fitr,’ an ISIS suspporter calling himself Ansar Udeen said on Twitter. A number of experts have poured cold water on the idea that the missile could be a threat, however. Elliot Nelson, a blogger who tracks munitions used in Syria, tweeted: ‘The only danger that Islamic State scud is to anyone at the moment is if they accidentally run over a pedestrian showing it off.’
Meanwhile Charles Lister – an expert on the Syrian conflict who works at the at the Brookings Doha Center research organisation – called the missile 99 per cent useless, according to the Telegraph. This morning, Iraq’s newly elected members of parliament attended their first government session in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone. The new parliament ended its inaugural session by failing to make any progress in choosing a new prime minister – even as the country faces a militant blitz that threatens to rip it apart. World leaders and senior clerics have urged Iraq’s fractious politicians to unite in the face of the militant onslaught, which has killed more than 2,000 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and polarised the country’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish populations.
New era: News that ISIS had declared its territory a caliphate was described by one expert, Charles Lister, as ‘the most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11
Iraq’s newly elected members of parliament attend their first government session in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad this morning
Iraq’s new parliament ended its inaugural session today by failing to make any progress in choosing a new prime minister – even as the country faces a militant blitz that threatens to rip it apart
On Sunday ISIS declared they had changed their name to the Islamic State and announced that the areas of Iraq and Syria under their control represent the establishment of a caliphate. The news was described by Mr Lister as the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11’. Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world. With brutal efficiency, ISIS has carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria and laid the foundations of its proto-state. Now that it feels it has secure the territory under its control, the group announced it would be changing its name from the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (also known as the Levant), to just the Islamic State, in order to appear less regional. A spokesman for ISIS declared the group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the leader of the new caliphate and called on Muslims everywhere, not just those in areas under the organization’s control, to swear loyalty to him. ‘The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas,’ said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. ‘Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day,’ he added in an audio statement posted online. Al-Adnani loosely defined the state territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala – a vast stretch of land straddling the border that is already largely under ISIS control.