The leader of the Islamic State terrorist group on Saturday released an audio message, his first in seven months, warning Western nations not to send troops to challenge them and threatening attacks on Israel.
In the rare, 23-minute audio statement, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said the U.S. and its allies “have learned” from previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Crusaders and Jews don’t dare come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, The Telegraph reported.
He threatened attacks in Israel, saying his terror network would aim to establish an Islamic State in Palestinian territory.
“Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine, which will become your grave,” Baghdadi said, according to the Telegraph.
“The Jews thought we forgot Palestine, and that they had distracted us from it,” he continues in the recording. “Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it. … The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant, and we know is close. We are getting closer every day.”
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The terror leader also called on Saudi citizens to “rise up” against their government and dismissed the kingdom’s newly formed Muslim coalition against the caliphate, the Telegraph reported.
The Islamic State’s ringleader has rarely made public appearances and has not made a statement in several months. He was reportedly injured in an Iraqi airstrike in October.
He is thought to constantly move between Islamic State strongholds in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, to avoid airstrikes.