Wow. That was fast. It was only on June 17 that I said that I thought the new Caliphate would become reality, and here we are. From CBS News:
The al Qaeda breakaway group that has seized much of northern Syria and huge tracks of neighboring Iraq formally declared the creation of an Islamic state on Sunday in the territory under its control.
The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, made the announcement in an audio statement posted online. Islamic extremists have long dreamed of recreating the Islamic state, or caliphate, that ruled over the Middle East for hundreds of years.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said the group's chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is the new leader, or caliph, of the Islamic state. He called on those living in the areas under the organization's control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and support him.
"The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph's authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas," al-Adnani said.USA Today reports:
An al-Qaeda breakaway group that seized large swaths of Iraq in recent weeks declared Sunday the creation of a new religious state in Iraq and Syria, as it continued to repel government forces in Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
The militant group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced it will now be known as The Islamic State.
A spokesman for the new entity, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, said the group's chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains its leader, and called on residents in areas under its control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and support him.
The announcement could force other jihadist groups to either join or fight the group, which lays claim to billions of dollars in assets, scores of communities and operations that extend into Turkey and Lebanon, said Charles Lister, an analyst at the Brookings Doha Center, a think tank.
"The Islamic State's announcement made it clear that it would perceive any group that failed to pledge allegiance an enemy of Islam," Lister said. "Already, this new Islamic State has received statements of support and opposition from jihadist factions in Syria."
The group, which was disowned this year by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri, has developed an elaborate bureaucracy and an efficient model of governance, providing modern social services together with medieval justice. And it has supporters in Jordan, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, Lister said.
"This could well be the birth of a totally new era of transnational jihadism," he said.See also this article at RT. Meanwhile, the Iraqi military has failed in its attempt to retake Tikrit, and withdrawn its troops. However, Russia has delivered new fighter jets to Iraq, which Iraq hopes to use against ISIS.(More evidence of the collapse of U.S. influence in the region).
Last September, I linked to a Wall Street Journal article discussing ISIS's goal to create a new Caliphate.
The declaration of a new Caliphate is significant in Islamic eschatology. That is why Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are so frightened of this announcement. Joel Richardson notes in his book, AntiChrist--Islam's Awaited Messiah that the Mahdi (a messianic figure in Islam) will lead a Caliphate, and lead an army waving black flags, to attack all non-believers, including Israel. According to Islamic tradition, this army will originate from the direction of Khorasan (Iran). The appearance of this army is supposed to signal the imminent appearance of the Mahdi. By declaring a new Caliphate, ISIS has potentially seized the moral high ground (from a Muslim perspective).
The Gulf royalty and the financial elite that have been backing radical Islam should be afraid. They have empowered a beast that may turn on them and destroy them. See Chapter 17 of Revelations.