(London Telegraph) The leader of the self-declared Islamic State issued a defiant message to the West, warning "crusaders" not to dare fight on his turf.
In a rare public statement - his first in seven months - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said Western countries had "learned from" previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Crusaders and Jews don't dare to come on the ground because they were defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said in a 23-minute long audio message released through an ISIS-run internet account.
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The message - dubbed an "alternative Christmas broadcast" on social media - appeared to be an effort to rally ISIS followers against the growing number of enemies arrayed against them.