The leader of ISIS issued an audio statement on Thursday in which he called on supporters to join him or to take up arms wherever they live in the world.
The audio message posted on militant websites features a voice that sounds like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's exhorting all Muslims to take up arms and fight on behalf of the group's self-styled caliphate.
"There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State ... Joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are," Baghdadi said in the statement, issued by the group's al-Furqan media outlet and posted on several websites.
"Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting," he said. "No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels," he added
It was not immediately possible to verify whether the voice was Baghdadi's.
The last audio message purportedly from Baghdadi came in November, days after Iraqi officials said he was wounded in an airstrike on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border.
Baghdadi has only appeared in public once, in a video showing him delivering a Friday sermon in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul last July, shortly after it was captured by his group.
In the latest message, Baghdadi blasted Arab rulers, calling them "guarding dogs" and saying the Yemen war will lead to the end of the Saudi royal family's rule.
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