Voice recording of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi purportedly emerges nearly year after thought killed in strike

An audio recording of the Islamic State leader – who was previously reported dead from Russian airstrikes – purportedly resurfaced Wednesday evening on a website run by the extremist group. 

In the 54-minute recording titled, “Give Glad Tidings to the Patient,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made multiple references to current affairs. If the voice on the audio is confirmed to be that of al-Baghdadi, it would indicate he is still alive.  

Al-Baghdadi congratulated his followers on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday, and referenced Turkey’s recent quarrel with the U.S. over its detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

In this July 25, 2018 photo, Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey.   Brunson, who had been jailed in Turkey for more than one and a half years on terror and espionage charges was released and will be put under house arrest as his trial continues.  The White House is announcing that the Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on two Turkish officials over a detained American pastor who is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges.  (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)

The IS leader apparently made reference to Andrew Brunson, an American pastor at the center of a quarrel between the U.S. and Turkey.  (Associated Press)

He purportedly said “America is going through the worse time in its entire existence,” and said Russia was competing with the U.S. over regional influence and clout.

Al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts has eluded captors since the rise of the Islamic State. His only public appearance was in 2014 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. His last know audio recording was released on Sept. 28, 2017.

There have been recurring reports of his death or injury, including reports by Russian officials last year who said there was a "high probability" that al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa. U.S. officials later said they believed he was still alive. He is believed to be hiding in the desert that stretches in the Syrian-Iraqi border region.

The Islamic State has lost around 90 percent of the lands bordering Iraq and Syria since declaring a caliphate in June 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.