U.S.-based ABC News this week published a map that shows the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) alleged five-year expansion plan, however, the map was shot down by experts who said it was misleading.
“It’s an old image put out by fans of the group,” Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy told Quartz, a business news publication. “There is nothing official about it nor is there some alleged five-year plan.”
According to Business Insider “the map is a fantasy that harkens back to the initial age of Islamic expansion.”
ISIS fighters recently announced the establishment of a “caliphate,” referring to the system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago with the fall of the Ottomans, Agence France-Presse reported.
In an audio recording distributed online, ISIS declared its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “the caliph” and “leader for Muslims everywhere.”
“The Shura [council] of the Islamic State met and discussed this issue [of the caliphate] … The Islamic State decided to establish an Islamic caliphate and to designate a caliph for the state of the Muslims,” said ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani.
“The jihadist cleric Baghdadi was designated the caliph of the Muslims,” said Adnani.
Baghdadi “has accepted this allegiance and has thus become the leader for Muslims everywhere.”
Baghdadi then called on Muslims with military, medical and managerial skills to flock to its newly-declared pan-Islamic state.
“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The newly named “caliph” said the appeal especially applied to “judges and those who have military and managerial and service skills, and doctors and engineers in all fields.”
Baghdadi also addressed the group’s fighters, saying that “your brothers in all the world are waiting” to be rescued by them.
“Terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the places where you expect to find it,” he said. “Your brothers, on every piece of this earth, are waiting for you to rescue them,” he said in an audio recording.