Isis leader - 'Muslims must fight until Rome conquered'
Published 02/07/2014 | 02:30
ABU Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.
Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targeted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.
"Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty," he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
"Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state . . . This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills."
Having claimed the title of 'caliph', Baghdadi appealed to "judges and those who have military and managerial and service skills, and doctors and engineers in all fields."
He also called on jihadi fighters to escalate fighting in the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday.
In a reflection of the havoc wreaked in the past month by the Sunni insurgency led by the group, the United Nations said more than 2,400 people were killed in Iraq in June, making it the deadliest month in the country in years.
Baghdadi's claims to control vast territory have yet to be tested by an Iraqi government counter-attack. But some experts fear his rise could transform the appeal of extremist Islam, partly by harassing social media to build a global following.
The Sunni insurgents' advance, which has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since US troops left in 2011, puts it up against avowed enemies in Shia areas. (© Daily Telegraph, London)