Islamic State's Baghdadi calls on supporters to join him - audio

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The leader of the Islamic State militant group that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq issued an audio statement on Thursday in which he called on supporters to join him or to take up arms wherever they live in the world.

?There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State ... Joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are,? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said in the statement, issued by the group's al-Furqan media outlet and posted on several websites.

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the audio or its date.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)