8 Tamuz 5774
And if he has, can our Mashiach be far behind?
Mahdi [the Islamic Messiah] in Sunni Islam
The Sunnis view the Mahdi as the successor of Mohammad. The Mahdi is expected to arrive to rule the world and to reestablish righteousness. ...It was believed that he would eventually conquer Constantinople. ...The Mahdi is frequently mentioned in Sunni hadith as establishing the caliphate.
'Caliph' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asks Muslims to obey him in video sermon
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now called Islamic State (IS) has called on Muslims to obey him in a video after he was declared the Caliph of the Islamic state by the jihadi group.
...According to the BBC, Baghdadi welcomed the establishment of the Islamic State in his maiden video as the Caliph. The ISIS had announced the establishment of the state last Sunday. Subtitles in the video referred to Baghdadi as "Caliph Ibrahim", a name that he took up soon after he was declared the Caliph of the Islamic state by ISIS on the same day.
He claims direct descent from Mohammed.
...Video of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi...
...The video is the first ever official appearance by Baghdadi, says Aymenn al-Tamimi, an expert on Islamist movements, though the jihadist leader may have appeared in a 2008 video under a different name.
“God gave your mujahedeen brothers victory after long years of jihad and patience ... so they declared the caliphate and placed the caliph in charge,” he said.
“This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries,” he added, sporting a long and slightly greying beard, as he addressed the faithful from the mosque’s pulpit.
Baghdadi is believed to have been born in the Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971, and joined the insurgency against the US military following the 2003 invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
He spent time in a US military prison and eventually took over leadership of a group, then affiliated with al-Qaeda and known as the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2010.
At the time, the group was believed to be on the ropes but Baghdadi led it back to prominence.
Last year, the organisation expanded into Syria, becoming a major player in the war to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
Baghdadi subsequently cut all ties to al-Qaeda and his influence now rivals that of that group’s global chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
IS is known for its brutality and executing and crucifying opponents. Photographs also emerged on Saturday showing its militants demolishing Sunni and Shi’ite mosques and shrines in Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province.
Iraqi security forces wilted when faced with the initial IS-led onslaught, and while they have since performed more capably, they have struggled to retake territory from insurgents.
An assault on Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit has gone on for more than a week without retaking the city, while a suicide car bomb killed 15 people on Friday near the sensitive shrine city of Samarra.