BEIRUT – Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video marking the twentieth anniversary of the Sept. 11 assaults, months after rumors unfold that he was lifeless.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which displays jihadist web sites, mentioned the video was launched Saturday. In it, al-Zawahri mentioned that “Jerusalem Will By no means be Judaized” and praised al-Qaida assaults, together with one which focused Russian troops in Syria in January.
SITE mentioned al-Zawahri additionally famous the U.S. army’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of struggle. It added that his feedback don’t essentially point out a latest recording, as a result of the withdrawal settlement with the Taliban was signed in February 2020.
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Al-Zawahri made no point out of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the capital, Kabul, final month, SITE added. However he did point out a Jan. 1, assault that focused Russian troops on the sting of the northern Syrian metropolis of Raqqa.
Rumors have unfold since late 2020 that al-Zawahri had died from an sickness. Since then, no video or proof he was alive had surfaced, till Saturday.
“He might nonetheless be lifeless, although if that’s the case, it will have been sooner or later in or after Jan 2021,” tweeted Rita Katz, SITE’s director.
Al-Zawahri’s speech was recorded in a 61-minute, 37-second video produced by the group’s as-Sahab Media Basis.
In recent times, al-Qaida has confronted competitors in jihadi circles from its rival, the Islamic State group. The Islamic State rose to prominence by seizing massive swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” and increasing associates to a number of nations throughout the area.
The militant group’s bodily “caliphate” was crushed in Iraq and Syria, although its fighters are nonetheless lively and finishing up assaults. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy chief of the Islamic State, was killed by U.S. particular forces in a raid in northwestern Syria in October 2019.
Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, grew to become chief of al-Qaida after the killing in 2011 of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs.