Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks after he was rumored to be dead.
The SITE intelligence group, which monitors the activities of extremist websites, said the video was posted on 9/11. In the video, al-Zawahri says “Jerusalem will never be Jewish” and praises attacks carried out by al-Qaeda, including last month’s raid on Russian troops in Syria. one.
According to SITE, al-Zawahri also mentioned the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after 20 years. However, the group added that al-Zawahri’s comments were not necessarily recent because the US signed a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban in February 2020. Al-Zawahri also made no mention of the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul last month.
Rumors circulated since late 2020 that al-Zawahri had died of illness. Since then, none of his videos have appeared until yesterday. “He could still be dead, though it happens sometime during or after January 2021,” commented Rita Katz, director of SITE.
Al-Zawahri’s speech, recorded in 61 minutes and 31 seconds, was produced by the group’s as-Sahab media organization. Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian national, became al-Qaeda leader in 2011 after leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Vu Hoang (Follow AP)