Al-Qaida chief appears in video
Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, attacks, months after rumors spread that he was dead.
The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors jihadist websites said the video was released Saturday. In it, al-Zawahri said that “Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized,” and praised al-Qaida attacks including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January.
SITE said al-Zawahri also noted the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. It added that his comments do not necessarily indicate a recent recording, as the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban was signed in February 2020.
Al-Zawahri made no mention of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul last month, SITE added. But he did mention a Jan. 1, attack that targeted Russian troops on the edge of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.
Rumors have spread since late 2020 that al-Zawahri had died from illness. Since then, no video or proof of life surfaced, until Saturday.