Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, appeared for the first time in a video, delivering a sermon at the Great Mosque in the city of Mosul in Iraq’s Ninawa province.
Supporters of the Islamic State—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)—have taken to Twitter to support and celebrate the group’s announcement of Caliphate.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in the territory it claims to control. The leader of the group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has taken the title “Caliph Ibrahim” and, henceforth, ISIS will be known simply as the “Islamic State.” This is a momentous occasion for the jihadi-salafist movement, since the creation of a Caliphate is one of the stated goals of extremist groups around the Muslim-majority world.
Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani’s 34-minute speech titled “This is the Promise of Allah”—which declares ISIS as Caliphate under the name “Islamic State,” along with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s status as the Caliph—has reignited the recently quieted conflict between ISIS, al-Qaeda (AQ), and AQ’s Syrian branch, al-Nusra Front.