The leader of the radical Islamic State group sent out a chilling video message to all Muslims, ordering them to obey him.
“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me,” said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while leading Friday prayers at Mosul’s Great Mosque, Agence France Presse reported.
“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you,” he added.
The video, released for the first Friday prayer service of Ramadan, is also the first official appearance by the head of the terrorist organization, according to experts on Islamist movements.
On June 29, Mr. Baghdadi declared a “caliphate,” an Islamic state led by a supreme religious political leader, straddling Syria and Iraq.
“God gave your mujahedeen brothers victory after long years of jihad and patience… so they declared the caliphate and placed the caliph in charge,” he said during his video sermon, filmed Friday in the militant occupied northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
“This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries,” he added, sporting a long and slightly greying beard, black turban and robe.