UPDATE 4/19/13 9:06 AM: Here is an English translation of the below Arabic audio message:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه وبعد
Muslims everywhere, leaderships of the Jihadi movements and leaderships of the armed factions, people of Al-Sham, sons of Jabhat (Front) Al-Nusra, As-salam Alaykum wa Rahmatu l-lāhi wa Barakātuh.
The Truth Almighty: (Alif Lam Mim -1- Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried? -2- And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars -3-) Surah Al-Ankaboot.
There has been a talk about a speech attributed to sheikh Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi may Allah preserve him and it has been mentioned in the speech attributed to the sheikh that the Front subordination to the Islamic State of Iraq then he declared abolishing the name of the State of Iraq and Jabhat Al-Nusra and replacing them with one name the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham.
We inform you that the leadership of the Front and its Majlis Al-Shura and the humble slave the general commander of Jabhat Al-Nusra have no knowledge of this deceleration except what they heard from the media.
So if the attributed speech was accurate we weren’t consulted or ordered to do so, and I say seeking aid from Allah:
After some of the papers were uncovered that we accompanied the jihad in Iraq since it began until our return after the Syrian revolution with what occurred to us from predestined abruption but we are familiar with the details of most of the momentous events that occurred to the journey of jihad in Iraq and concluded from our experience there what pleases the hearts of the believers on the land of Al-Sham under the banner of Jabhat Al-Nusra.
And Allah Almighty knows that we only saw from our brothers in Iraq the great goodness of generosity and harbor and their virtues cannot be counted and it is a debt that cannot leave our necks as long as we live.
And I never wished to leave Iraq before seeing the banners of Islam raised high on Mesopotamia but the rapidity of the events in Al-Sham prevented us from that.
And I was honored to accompany many of the righteous people in Iraq whom we reckon him to be so, and many of them have left us that no one of them is mentioned before me without me saying “may Allah accept him”, as well as tens and even hundreds of Muhajirin who perished from the people of Al-Sham and others as sacrifice to declare the Word of Allah under the banner of State of Iraq.
Then Allah Almighty honored me of knowing sheikh Al-Baghdadi that honorable sheikh who gave the people of Al-Sham their right and paid the debt doubly and agreed to the project which we proposed to him to support our oppressed people on the land of Al-Sham then he aided us have the money of the State despite of the hard days that they were passing through then he kept all his trust in this poor slave and authorized him to set the policy and plan and aided us with some brothers despite of their scarcity but Allah Almighty blessed them and their gathering and the Front began to engage the hardships step by step until Allah graced us and banner of the Front was raised high and the hearts of the Muslims and oppressed flapped with it and it became the hard number that counterpoise the battle of the Ummah today on this land, and the focus of the hopes of the Muslims of the whole world.
We have from the beginning that we aspire to return the governance of Allah on His land then reviving the Ummah to implement His Sharia and spread His methodology and we didn’t want to be hasten in declaring a matter that we were patient regarding it, since the functions of the state from implementing the Sharia and ending rivalries and conflicts and seeking to establish security among Muslims and securing their requirements is being done in the liberated areas despite of the delinquency.
Since the issue of the declaration wasn’t of concern in the presence of the essence the State of Islam in the land of Al-Sham is built by the arms of all without exclusion of any major party who participated with us in jihad and fighting in Al-Sham from the mujahid factions and the respected sheikhs of Ahli Sunnah and our brothers Muhajirin as well as not excluding the leadership of Jabhat Al-Nusra and its Shrua council.
Also the issue of postponing the declaration of the correlation wasn’t because of a softness in religion or inanition that occurred to the men of the Front rather it is an enlightened wisdom based Sharia principles and a long history and spending an effort in understanding the Sharia policy that is appropriate for Al-Sham reality which the people of Ahl Al-Hal wa Al-Aqad have agreed upon in Bilad Al-Sham from the leadership of the Front and their students of knowledge then who supports us from the honorable sheikhs and people of opinion and consultancy abroad.
And I’m responding the appeal of Al-Baghdadi may Allah preserve him of upgrading from lowest to highest and say that this is a Baya’a from the sons of Jabhat Al-Nusra and its general commander we renew it to the sheikh of jihad sheikh Aymen Al-Zawahiri may Allah preserve him. We give Baya’a to listen and obey in what is liked and in what is disliked, and to Hijrah and jihad, and not to fight against the people of authority except upon the appearance of Kufr upon which I have Burhaan.
And the banner of the Front will remain as it is without any change despite our appreciation for the banner of the State and who carries it and who sacrificed his blood from out brothers under its banner.
And we reassure our people in Al-Sham that what you saw from the Front from defending your religion, honors and blood and its good character with you and the fighting groups will remain as you knew it and the declaration of the Baya’a won’t change anything in its policy.
O’ Allah unite our word and guidance… Amin, Amin, wa Alhamdulillahi Rabbi AlAAalameen.
Servant of the Muslims the General Commander of Jabhat Al-Nusra
Abu Mohammed Al-Golani