BAGHDAD: The leader of a brutal militant group addressed worshippers in the militant-held Iraqi city of Mosul, ordering Muslims to “obey” him and calling for global jihad, in a video distributed online on Saturday.

The appearance by the hitherto elusive chief of Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at a mosque in Mosul for Friday prayers marks a significant change for the militant leader whose group has overrun swathes of territory across five provinces north and west of Baghdad.

A video posted on social media showed a portly man clad in a long black robe and a black turban with a long greying beard addressing worshippers at weekly prayers at Al-Nur mosque in central Mosul.

“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 the man, purportedly Baghdadi.

“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.”


Read: What ISIS and the 'caliphate' mean for Pakistan


Text superimposed on the video identified the man as “Caliph Ibrahim”, the name Baghdadi has gone by since the group on June 29 declared a “caliphate”.

The video is said to be the first official appearance by Baghdadi.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2014

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