A spokesman for the Islamic State militant group has apparently released a new, chilling message threatening the U.S. and its allies.
In a speech titled "Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful" and released widely over social media Sunday, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani urges members of the Muslim faith to take violent action against "disbelievers" by any means necessary.
"O America, O allies of America, and O crusaders, know that the matter is more dangerous than you have imagined and greater than you have envisioned. We have warned you that today we are in a new era," Adnani says in an audio recording released via Twitter and translated into English and several other languages.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, kill him in any manner or way however it may be," Adnani says.
However, it was not immediately clear to what extent the recording has been verified as originating with the organization that has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, prompting the United States to launch airstrikes against the group's fighters.
The message also calls on fighters in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to continue attacking that country's security forces. ""Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads. Do not let them feel secure," the message says.
In separate Islamic State-related developments Monday, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said around 130,000 Syrian refugees have reached Turkish territory over the last four days fleeing Islamic State militants.
"I hope that we are not faced with a more populous refugee wave, but if we are, we have taken our precautions," Kurtulmus said. "A refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands is a possibility."
Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the West needs to be ready to commit ground forces to deal with the Islamic State. He made the comments in essay published on his website, Faith Foundation, dated Monday.
"There is real evidence that now countries in the Middle East are prepared to shoulder responsibility and I accept fully there is no appetite for ground engagement in the West," Blair writes. "But we should not rule it out in the future if it is absolutely necessary."
On Saturday, the wife of a British aid worker held hostage and threatened by the Islamic State pleaded for his release. At least two Americans and a British national have already been beheaded by the group.