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At Saddam's Palace, Islamic State Militants Threaten To Take Over World

Islamic State fighters seized Tikrit in June 2014. (file photo)

Islamic State fighters seized Tikrit in June 2014. (file photo)

A video shared on Russian-language pro-Islamic State (IS) social networks this week features an address by a group of Chechen IS militants outside a palace of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Tikrit.

The Islamic State group seized Tikrit in June 2014.

The militant who makes the address in the video is Musa Abu Yusuf Shishani, a member of the predominantly Chechen IS faction Katibat al-Aqsa, which fought in Kobani. Musa Abu Yusuf is known for his frequent video and audio addresses in Russian: in one of the most recent speeches he said the entire world, including the United States, Persian Gulf states, and even actors, musicians, and scantily clad women are opposed to the IS group.

It is not clear from the video when exactly it was shot, but it was uploaded to YouTube on February 4 and shared on the Russian social network VKontakte after that date, suggesting that it is recent.

In the video, which is nearly nine minutes long, Musa Abu Yusuf says he is in Tikrit with a group of "mujahedin [militants] from the caliphate army." Musa Abu Yusuf has previously appeared with militants from the predominantly Chechen group within IS, and it is likely that the other militants in the video are also from this group.

Musa Abu Yusuf describes Saddam Hussein as "the very taghut [idolator] who at the start of the Russo-Chechen war promised to send his personal intelligence service to help Russia."

The Chechen militant goes on to say that God has now given "all this land, all these palaces, and all this property that you can see" to "those who merited it."

Musa Abu Yusuf says that the militants with him in the video have all sworn a personal oath to "Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the caliph," a reference to the leader of the Islamic State group.

That oath, the Chechen militant says, is to fight to the death, "Today in Iraq, yesterday it was in Syria, tomorrow God willing it will be Saudi Arabia."

The militants have vowed to take on the "filthy idolators and local dictators" of Central Asia and the Caucasus, and to take their "lands, palaces and property" to be distributed among the Muslims.

The Chechen militant lectures his viewers on what he says is their duty to "wage jihad in the path of Allah" in order to liberate their lands from the "infidel occupation" or from "agents of the West and Russia."

Musa Abu Yusuf goes on to address the "infidels and idolators" who he says have "murdered, destroyed, raped and imprisoned the Muslims."

"We are coming for you, just like the Prophet Muhammad came for the...polytheists in Mecca. Whether it is us or those who come after us, the offensive that our caliph Ibrahim [Baghdadi] began cannot be stopped," the Chechen militant vows.

The Islamic State group intends to bring "the religion of Allah to every home," Musa Abu Yusuf adds, saying that the militants will fly their banner everywhere, including at the "palaces of Bashar [al-Assad], the towers of Washington, and the towers of the Pentagon, in every capital, in Paris, on the Kremlin."

Musa Abu Yusuf then addresses those who would try to stop the Islamic State from carrying out these promises.

"Try to stop us. Send your war planes, send your artillery...but no one can stop that which was promised by Allah," he says.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena


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