ISIS leader heard alive, talking about North Korea in new recording

IS global threat 'intact'

Almost 11 months since the last time Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi spoke publicly, the leader of the Islamic State purportedly broke his silence Thursday.

It was not clear when the message, released by the ISIS-affiliated Al-Furqan media group, was recorded.

The recording, which has yet to be verified, involved references to recent geopolitical developments, including US tensions with North Korea, in an apparent attempt to dismiss persistent reports that Baghdadi had been killed on the battlefield.

The current recording is an indication that the ISIS leader is still alive as since the last recording from him was released was in November 2016.

"The leaders of the Islamic State and its soldiers have realised that the path to. victory is to be patient and resist the infidels whatever their alliances", said the person heard in the recording.

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"Turkey does not dare to fight them, fearing to anger its American and European masters, so in their expectations it is an inevitable - but postponed - battle", Al-Baghdadi says.

"Beware of retreat, or the feeling of defeat, beware of negotiations or surrender".

He now has a $25 million bounty on his head from the USA government. ISIS has lost more than half of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

In June, Russian defence officls had said that there was a "high probability" that Baghdadi died in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa. But U.S. officials said they could not corroborate the death and other Western as well as Iraqi officials were skeptical.

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