ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi Photo YouTube screenshot BBC channel w LOGOAl-Baghdadi's summons was probably a coded signal to dormant ISIS cells in the West, activating them for an international outburst of suicide terror attacks - including one on 8 November in the USA?


As Iraqi troops entered Mosul, Wednesday night, 2 November, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on suicide bombers all over the world “to destroy the cities of the unbelievers.”

In a rare, audio-taped speech from an unknown location, he rallied jihadists from across the world to rise up against "God's enemies from the Jews, Christians, atheists, Shiites, apostates and all of the world's infidels.”

This was interpreted as a coded signal to the Islamist State’s dormant cells in key Western and Middle Eastern cities to go into action for a new, multiple outburst of suicide terror.

In an apparent response to military pressure in Iraq, Al Baghdadi followed his rallying to ISIS-affiliated fighters across the globe by urging ISIS members to defend Mosul since “holding our ground in honor is a thousand times better than retreating...”

International intelligence and counterterrorism agencies in the US, Western Europe and the Middle East expected Al-Baghdadi’s call for widespread terror to come at the 15 October start of the US-led coalition offensive to retake Mosul. When the call did not come, speculation was that the “caliph” was either unwilling or unable to issue the call for action in the early stages of the battle.

Why is it coming now? According to one hypothesis, the advance of the Iraqi army and allies into Mosul on Wednesday may have tripped a preset trigger for the threat. Wednesday's summons was the ISIS leader's first taped speech since December 2015.

Another potential trigger for unleashing ISIS terror attacks is shrinking proximity to the US presidential election next Tuesday. An ISIS terror spree might be intended to cause maximum disruption on America’s voting day.

The possible response of terror cells to the ISIS leader's rallying call is seen as cause for alarm, according to DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources.

It is feared that the Mosul operation against ISIS will spawn new and more devastating forms of terror; for example, mass-hostage taking in order to extort the coalition forces to withdraw from Mosul.

Since the Mosul operation began, ISIS has not managed to trigger a response of terrorist attacks in America or against US targets in the Middle East and Europe.

(Note: the Islamist terror attacks on 18 and 19 September in New Jersey and Manhattan were instigated by Al Qaeda, not ISIS.)

Now, however, al-Baghdadi has explicitly called for terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Our sources also foresee that, under pressure to show that his Western jihadists remain active in the terror game, al-Baghdadi may pull off a dramatic strike at a prominent American location – possibly even on election day.


This is a lightly edited article originally published by DEBKAfile at

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