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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/3/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Large weapon shown to be in organization's arsenal

The leader of ISIS - a militant Islamist group sweeping across Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a 19-minute video calling on Muslims to build an "Islamic state." "The earth is Allah's," he proclaims. "Muslims, rush to your state. Yes, it is your state."

'The only danger that Islamic State scud is to anyone at the moment is if they accidentally run over a pedestrian showing it off,' Elliot Nelson, a blogger who tracks munitions used in Syria, tweeted.

"The only danger that Islamic State scud is to anyone at the moment is if they accidentally run over a pedestrian showing it off," Elliot Nelson, a blogger who tracks munitions used in Syria, tweeted.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/3/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: ISIS, SCUD, Syria, Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the audio recording found on militant Web sites, the leader makes a special call to those with practical skills, such as scholars, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise. He calls upon these individuals to come "answer the dire need of the Muslims for them."

Al-Baghdadi makes the highly provocative statement "Rush, because Syria is not for the Syrians and Iraq is not for the Iraqis."

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He also calls for bloodshed during the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday.

"In this virtuous month or in any other month, there is no deed better than jihad in the path of Allah, so take advantage of this opportunity and walk the path of you righteous predecessors.

"So to arms, to arms, soldiers of the Islamic, fight, fight."

The voice resembled that on other audiotapes said to be by al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi militant who has rarely been photographed or appeared in public.

The recording comes on the heels of claims that ISIS militants, which are continuing to advance in Syria, are in possession of a massive long-distance ballistic missile.

Photographs depict a large weapon being paraded on the back of a truck surrounded by masked men in the Syrian city of Raqqa, which ISIS has proclaimed capital of the new Sunni Muslim caliphate.

Experts analyzing the images-which ISIS says is a captured SCUD, think the weapon is almost certainly inoperable and highly unlikely to pose a threat. The weapon is also believed to have been captured from another rebel group, the Free Syrian Army.

The FSA are understood to have acquired the Soviet-built missile when it captured a military base from government forces in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria last September.

It's not yet known how the weapon ended up in the hands of ISIS. Social media accounts linked to militants fighting for the group in Iraq and Syria claimed they are now preparing it for use.

Experts have thoroughly discounted the idea that the missile could be a threat, however.

"The only danger that Islamic State scud is to anyone at the moment is if they accidentally run over a pedestrian showing it off," Elliot Nelson, a blogger who tracks munitions used in Syria, tweeted.

In addition, Charles Lister - an expert on the Syrian conflict who works at the at the Brookings Doha Center research organization - called the missile 99 percent useless.

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