The Telegram message on the occasion of Eid al-Adha is the first known to be released since another was broadcast in September last year, and comes as IS has lost most of its territory in Iraq and Syria.
“Those who forget their religion, patience, jihad against their enemies, and their certainty in the creator’s promise lose and are disgraced,” the leader said.
“But when they hold on to it, they are mighty and victorious, even if after a certain time.”
Baghdadi has been pronounced dead on several occasions, but an Iraqi intelligence official said in May that he remains alive in Syrian territory by the Iraqi border.
Baghdadi was said to move around with only a small group of followers.
Originally from Iraq, Baghdadi has been dubbed the “most wanted man on the planet” and the United States is offering a $25 million reward for his capture.
The Iraqi official said the noose was closing around the jihadist leader after Iraqi forces captured five top IS commanders in an unprecedented raid in Syria on March 24.
In September 2017, in the last voice message attributed to Baghdadi, the IS leader called on his fighters in Syria and Iraq to “resist” their enemies.
IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
But they have since lost most of that to various offensives in both countries. DM
In other news...
South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.
On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.
And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.
However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.
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"You at this time can only be destroyed by yourselves from within and not from without. You have reached the point where the victory is to be won from within and can only be lost from within." ~ Marcus Garvey