The audio follows Russian reports that the elusive Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike
After almost a year of silence, a new audio message has been released purportedly from ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
In it, followers of his jihadist group are urged to attack the West, including its media, and to keep fighting in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
Russia said earlier this year that it might have killed Baghdadi in an air strike on the outskirts of Raqqa.
But leaders of the US-led coalition against ISIL had said Baghdadi was probably still alive.
ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi calls for attacks on Western media https://t.co/gJVb7c2g1S
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) 28 septembre 2017
The date of the 46-minute recording, released on Thursday, is not clear.
But the speaker said to be Baghdadi appears to refer to recent events including North Korean threats against Japan and the United States and the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum.
There is also a reference to the recapture two months ago of Mosul by US-backed Iraqi forces which effectively marked the end of the Iraqi half of Baghdadi’s self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’.
Western-backed Syrian forces are now also thrusting into the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, so-called Islamic State’s operational headquarters, from where it plotted many of the attacks that have killed hundreds of people around the world.