In Ramzan message, ISIS commander Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri calls on followers worldwide to wage jihad

Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri, commander of the insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has vowed war against several countries, including India, in a Ramzan speech released online late on Tuesday.

The reference to India, the first in an ISIS manifesto, raises new concerns for the safety of the almost hundreds of its nationals trapped in Iraqi cities controlled by the Islamist group, which is battling the governments of Iraq and Syria.

The Ramzan speech by Mr al-Badri — also known by the pseudonym Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — calls on believers to take up arms during the month of penitence, and “terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the places where you expect to find it, for the dunya (worldly life) will come to an end”.

“Muslims’ rights”, Mr. al-Badri states in his speech, “are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Sham (the Levant), Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Ahvaz, Iran (by the rafidah (shia)), Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco, in the East and in the West” [all text as in original released by ISIS].

“Prisoners are moaning and crying for help”, Mr. al-Badri continues. “Orphans and widows are complaining of their plight. Women who have lost their children are weeping. Masajid (plural of masjid) are desecrated and sanctities are violated”.

Thus, he says, “the ummah of Islam is watching your jihad with eyes of hope, and indeed you have brothers in many parts of the world being inflicted with the worst kinds of torture”.

Mr. al-Badri’s speech, released online in English, Russian, French, Albanian and Russian, apart from Arabic, appeared part of a campaign to reach out to violent Islamists worldwide.

Earlier this week, ISIS had declared Mr. Badri the amir al-mumineen, or commander of the faithful, and declared him the leader of the Islamic caliphate it seeks to create.