It’s “Omar al-Baghdadi,” ostensible leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, whom we learned two months ago is a figment of Al Qaeda in Iraq’s imagination. They’re keeping up the pretense that ISI is a homegrown, Iraqi-run organization of united Sunni jihadists but read the fine print of SITE’s analysis of the audio. For a nationalist group, they sure are fighting a lot of Iraqi nationalists:
Baghdadi speaks to Muslims, both with words of comfort and incitement, instructing that the “door of repentance” is open during Ramadan for those Muslims who have aligned with the enemy, while at the same time, urging reprisals against Sweden for the most recent insult to the Prophet Muhammad. Here he offers cash rewards for the murder of Lars Vilks, the artist of the caricature, and the editor of the paper, Nerikes Allehanda. He adds, speaking of Swedish corporations: “We retain the right to punish those who committed this crime. And we know how we can force you to retreat and apologize. If you don’t, just wait for hits on your economy, such as your huge companies as “Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Ikea, and Electrolux”, and this is a warning and threat.”…
Baghdadi indicates that the Islamic State is now at war with other insurgent groups, namely Hamas of Iraq, JAMI, and the Twentieth Revolution Brigades, and tribal militias as the Anbar Salvation Council. Through this he stakes the position of the Islamic State as the only true Islamic group in Iraq, and the sole entity which the Sunni people should support against what he calls a “Crusader” and Shi’ite project.
The Swedish corporations are included to make it easier on jihadis around the region who hear the tape and want to “help” but can’t quite get to Stockholm. Why is this even on AQI’s radar screen, you may be wondering. Ah: that’s because the Pakistani and Egyptian governments, among others, issued statements condemning the drawings to placate the cretinous Islamists among their own populations. Now there’s interest in the Middle East and AQI is taking advantage. Kudos to our “allies” for their help.
Vilks is keeping hope alive.