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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/1/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Terrorist group aims to control territory across northern Syria and northwestern Iraq

As the Muslim world began Ramadan this past Sunday, ISIS - the militant jihadist group currently threatening the stability of Iraq as it marches across that country, made a series of bold claims. Among them, the group proclaimed it was establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state and was changing its name from ISIS to "the Islamic State."  ISIS also proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "caliph" - the political successor to Islam's 7th century founder, Mohammed.

ISIS leader Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also goes under the names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Du'a. ISIS says that Baghdadi was caliph 'for the Muslims everywhere.

ISIS leader Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also goes under the names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Du'a. ISIS says that Baghdadi was caliph "for the Muslims everywhere.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/1/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph, ISIS, King Abdullah


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These far-reaching claims come on the heels of the proclamation of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS as nothing more than "a handful of terrorists" whose aim was to sow discord among Muslims.

ISIS has since posted a 34-minute audio file online accompanied by a written statement, which quotes liberally from the Qur'an and other Islamic texts.

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Saudi King Abdullah remains adamant that ISIS' activities will not interfere with this month's religious observations. "We will not allow a handful of terrorists, using Islam for personal aims, to terrify Muslims," he declared.

"We hereby declare that we will continue to confront and fight all forms of this menace that does not relate to Islam by any means," the King added.

The Saudi king's own claim to Islamic leadership is enshrined in the title of "custodian of the two holy mosques," a reference to the Ka'aba in Mecca and the Mohammed mosque in Medina, the most revered sites in Islam.

ISIS leader Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also goes under the names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Du'a. ISIS says that Baghdadi was caliph "for the Muslims everywhere.

"It is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance [to him]," the statement read. Once the caliph and his fighters arrive in a particular area, "the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khalifah's authority."

In the release, Baghdadi was described as a holy warrior, a "scholar who practices what he preaches," and "a descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah."

The group said the caliphate currently stretches "from Aleppo to Diyala." Aleppo is Syria's largest city, and has been a battle zone in the civil war since mid-2012. Diyala is the Iraqi province located to the north-east of Baghdad, and stretching to the Iranian border.

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