IS chief urges followers to wage 'jihad' in new recording

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His last audio message was on September 28, 2017 in which he called on his followers to burn their enemies everywhere and target 'media centers of the infidels'.

In a purported audio recording in Arabic released by the terror group's propaganda outlet on Wednesday, Baghdadi hailed recent terror attacks in Canada and Europe and called on its followers to use bombs, knives or cars to wage assaults.

A previous statement attributed to the jihadist leader was released in late September a year ago and was also aimed at dispelling rumors of his demise.

But they have since lost most of that to various offensives in both countries. Baghdadi also appeared to criticise a $100-million pledge by Saudi Arabia in the previous week to help rebuild Syria's northeast.

The IS chief had made his only known public presence in Iraq's Mosul in 2014.

Baghdadi said the United States policy of backing Shia militias against IS backfired in Iraq because the Iran-backed groups now control the country.

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.

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In July, Iraqi intelligence services said Baghdad's son Hudhayfah al-Badri had been killed in Syria by three Russian missile targeting a cave where he was hiding. His last know audio recording was released on September 28, 2017.

Today, after a vast military campaign by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition, the jihadist group only has sleeping cells in Iraq.

The Pentagon said in a recent report as many as 17,100 ISIL fighters remain in Iraq and 14,000 in Syria.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks around the world, including a July 22 shooting in Toronto that left two people dead and 13 wounded.

"Supporters of the caliphate everywhere, in the media or in the field, we tell you the state is fine", Baghdadi said, telling supporters not to worry about losing the cities they controlled in Syria and Iraq.

In Wednesday's recording, Al-Baghdadi congratulated IS followers on the occasion of the Muslim al-Adha feast and made references to current events including Turkey's row with the U.S. over its detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

In Syria, the group killed around 250 people in attacks in the southern province of Sweida last month and still holds dozens of hostages, mostly women and children.

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