The man in the video urges his followers to jihad, emphasises on Islamic law
Iraqi officials are working to determine the authenticity of a video that purportedly shows the leader of the Islamic extremist group that has seized large swaths of the country delivering a sermon this week in the nation’s second-largest city, authorities said on Sunday.
The 21-minute video said to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State group, was reportedly filmed on Friday at the Great Mosque in the northern city of Mosul. It was released on at least two websites known to be used by the organisation and bore the logo of its media arm.
Iraqi military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi told reporters on Sunday the country’s security services are still analysing the video to verify whether the speaker is indeed al-Baghdadi, and that the government will “announce the details once they are available.”
Wearing black robes and a black turban, the man in the video said to be al-Baghdadi urges his followers to jihad, and emphasises the implementation of a strict interpretation of Islamic law. He strikes an almost humble tone, telling listeners: “I am not better than you or more virtuous than you.”
A senior Iraqi intelligence official told The Associated Press on Saturday that an initial analysis indicated that the man in the video is indeed al-Baghdadi.