ISIS Releases First Statement from Leader in Almost a Year

Last week, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a new speech, “Give Glad Tidings to the Patient,” through the group’s official media outlet, the al-Furqan Foundation. The 55-minute message is the first audio statement released by Baghdadi since September 2017, suggesting he is still alive.  

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  • In the speech, Baghdadi praises sympathizers in the West and the attacks they have conducted, calling for new supporters to “follow in their plan.” Baghdadi suggests followers conduct attacks using a variety of methods, including shooting, stabbing, bombing, and vehicle ramming. Baghdadi also discourages supporters from trusting Western media and suggests that they obtain all information from ISIS sources.

  • Baghdadi further claims that the caliphate is “in the best of shape” and is causing financial and diplomatic strain for the United States. He purports that the United States has spent “huge amounts of money, from which it got nothing but sadness and regret” and “the sanctions it [the United States] imposes on its allies” represents a policy “that is lower than it used to be.” He said that ISIS has forced out Western influence from Iraq and Syria, encouraging fighters to continue their battlefield operations.

  • In Baghdadi’s last statement in September 2017, he purported similar rhetoric, claiming the United States “has become an exhausted country, mired in huge debt, dragging other countries with it into the abyss.” He also suggested sympathizers “intensify their strikes” targeting Western media and “crusaders.”

    There are no known or credible threats to New Jersey as a result of this speech. Nonetheless, we encourage New Jersey’s residents to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to NJOHSP by calling 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or by emailing tips@njohsp.gov.


For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.