Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani) is the governor Islamic State-held territory in Syria and oversees the foreign attacks, a roster of duties which indicates that Falaha so powerful that he is effectively the caliph’s deputy after the demise of Abd al-Rahman al-Qaduli (Abu Ali al-Anbari) in March. Falaha is also IS’s official spokesman, and on 21 May 2016 he gave a very significant speech entitled, “That They Live By Proof”. The speech, released by Al-Hayat Media Centre, is reproduced below with some minor alterations in transliteration, some important sections highlighted in bold, and some notes added for explanation.
Falaha made three major points. First, Falaha was especially adamant that territorial control by IS should not be considered a measure of IS’s success: it lost all urban holdings and went into the deserts last time, after the strategic defeat in 2008, but it held to its cause and America withdrew, and this ideological cohesiveness and determination led it to be more powerful than ever within five years. Second, Falaha made use of the savage conduct of the coalition made up of the Assad regime, Iran, and Russia—and the Western indifference to same—to argue for Sunnis to see IS as a protective barrier against such sectarian foes. And, third, Falaha called for foreign attacks by Western Muslims, saying that if IS’s loyalists were unable to journey to IS-held areas this should not be considered a problem since attacks in the West are “more beloved to [IS] than the biggest act done [within the caliphate]”. Continue reading
The Islamic State’s spokesman, Taha Subhi Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani) gave a speech on 13 October 2015 entitled, “Say to Those Who Disbelieve, ‘You Will Be Overcome’.”
Falaha’s speech contained an important piece of news, or rather confirmation of news: the caliph’s deputy, Fadel al-Hiyali, was in fact killed on 18 August 2015.
The themes in Falaha’s speech were largely familiar: the jihadists were facing a global conspiracy of America, its allies, Russia, Iran, and apostate Muslims in Syria and Iraq; Muslims should therefore unite around the Islamic State’s banner in order to repel this aggression aimed at all (Sunni) Muslims; but the Islamic State remains strong—the killing of leaders and the loss of some areas was more than made up for by other advances—and able to murder those Muslims who remain opposed to it and shatter the Americans. Continue reading
On June 23, 2015, the Islamic State (IS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani gave a speech, “O Our People, Respond to the Caller of Allah”. Al-Adnani, noting the coming of Ramadan, called on Muslims to journey to the caliphate, saying that hijra (emigration) in this month—and martyrdom—is the most blessed. Al-Adnani called on Muslims—specifically Iraqi Sunnis and Syrian rebel and Islamist insurgent groups—to unite around IS, which had no theological factions or ethnic distinctions among its membership, being the only pure expression of Islam, ruling by god’s law. Iraqi Sunni militias and Syrian rebels had betrayed the religion by seeking favour from, and even seeking alliance with, Western states. Al-Adnani threatened the town of Haditha, specifically the Jaghayfa clan, that if it surrendered now its repentance would be accepted, but if the town was overrun first then they would be slaughtered. Al-Adnani played heavily on the interlinked themes of anti-Shi’a sectarianism and the spreading influence of Iran and its proxies, repressing Sunnis. The old guard of the jihadi movement—clerics like Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (though neither are mentioned by name)—are attacked for not being on the battlefields. Al-Adnani also accepted the allegiance of the Russian-based faction that declared itself under the caliph’s authority, naming the group Wilayat al-Kavkaz. An English transcript of the speech was posted by IS and is reproduced below with some minor editions in transliteration and some interesting sections highlighted in bold. Continue reading
The spokesman of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, gave a speech today entitled, “Say, ‘Die in Your Rage’,” which is drawn from a Surah of the Qur’an [3:119]. The main announcement from Adnani is the acceptance of another wilayat (province), i.e. foreign branch of IS, this time in Afghanistan, led by Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or “Pakistani Taliban” commander who broke away and formed a pro-ISIS faction in October. This follows the first declaration on this matter a month ago by IS’s caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which accepted “provinces” from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. Adnani went on to make the foredoomed request that the Afghan jihadists “abandon disunity and factionalism” in order to join ISIS. Continue reading
The Islamic State’s official spokesman, Abu Muhamad al-Adnani al-Shami, gave a speech, released by al-Furqan Media on 21 September 2014, entitled, “Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful”.
The main message was in al-Adnani’s conclusion: a call for Muslims in the West to kill their non-Muslim neighbours—or to maim them or destroy their property or at the very least spit in their faces if Muslims are unable to acquire the weapons or courage for murder rampages. “Do not be contemptible,” al-Adnani implores. Al-Adnani’s incitement to “lone wolf” attacks was justified as a response to aggression by a coalition consisting of America, the Assad regime, and Iran. Continue reading
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced that it had restored the caliphate on 29 June 2014. ISIS’s name was changed to simply the Islamic State (I.S.), and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, abandoned his kunya and proclaimed himself Caliph Ibrahim, his real name being Ibrahim al-Badri. The statement announcing that the areas I.S. rules in Syria and Iraq are now a caliphate, entitled “This Is The Promise of Allah [God],” was given by the group’s official spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and was distributed by al-Hayat Media in Arabic, English, Russian, French, and German. The English version is reproduced below with some editions for transliteration and some interesting or important sections highlighted in bold. The speech lays out how the state should and will be governed—in other words, what I.S. envisions for its utopia. Continue reading
The Islamic State’s official spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, gave a speech on March 7, 2014, entitled, “Then Let Us Invoke The Curse Of Allah Upon The Liars”. An English translation of the speech was made by Musa Cerantonio and is reproduced below. Continue reading
The spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, gave a speech via audio message on 11 May 2014, entitled “‘Adhr’a emir al-Qaeda” (Apologies, emir of al-Qaeda). Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, disowned ISIS, al-Qaeda’s prior Iraqi branch, in February, and then gave an extended statement a few days ago that placed blame for the schism squarely on ISIS. Al-Adnani’s speech was a response to al-Zawahiri, and it was among ISIS’s most stern attacks on al-Qaeda so far. Al-Adnani denounced al-Zawahiri for allegedly deviating from the outlook of Usama bin Ladin. Al-Adnani called on al-Zawahiri to reverse his ruling that accepted Jabhat al-Nusra’s split from ISIS. Al-Nusra has rebelliously broken its pledge of allegiance to ISIS, al-Adnani says, and al-Zawahiri’s duty was to side with ISIS against this renegade—not to join in a campaign of sedition and conspiracy against ISIS. Most intriguingly, al-Adnani denied that ISIS had ever been, in a formal sense, subordinate to al-Qaeda. Rather, says al-Adnani, ISIS had placed itself in a position of voluntarily labelling themselves as al-Qaeda and accepting the advice of the “elders of jihad” in order to unite the ranks of the jihadists. But, says al-Adnani, this was not a command relationship for ISIS’s internal affairs: witness, al-Adnani says, ISIS’s refusal to listen to al-Qaeda’s order to cease attacking Shi’i civilians. Though, says al-Adnani, ISIS did obey al-Qaeda in external matters, specifically not targeting Iran, where al-Qaeda has an important facilitation network that serves as its supply line from Afghanistan-Pakistan to the Arab world. Al-Adnani’s speech was translated today by Musa Cerantonio, an Australian convert to Islam who is one of ISIS’s most important international propagandist-recruiters. Al-Adnani’s speech is reprinted below. Continue reading
The spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, gave a speech on 17 April 2014, “This Is Not Our Methodology, Nor Will It Ever Be”. This was released by al-Furqan Media, which also produced an English-language version, reproduced below.
Al-Adnani delivered the most ferocious attack from ISIS against al-Qaeda so far. Al-Adnani said that the dispute is not related to pledges of allegiance, which he says ISIS never had to al-Qaeda, but to al-Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri deviating from the path of Usama bin Ladin, encouraging collaboration with heretics and unbelievers, and inciting divisions within the ranks of the jihadists, particularly by accepting the bay’a (pledge of allegiance) from the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, whom al-Adnani says owed his allegiance to ISIS.