Al-Qaida Chief Appears In Video Marking 9/11 Anniversary

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BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a video marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, assaults, months after rumors unfold that he was lifeless.

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The SITE Intelligence Group that displays jihadist web sites mentioned the video was launched Saturday. In it, al-Zawahri mentioned that “Jerusalem Will Never 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. navy’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of conflict. It added that his feedback don’t essentially point out a latest recording, because 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. But 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 sickness. Since then, no video or proof of life surfaced, till Saturday.

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“He could still be dead, though if so, it would have been at some point 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 Foundation.

In latest years, al-Qaida has confronted competitors in jihadi circles from its rival, the Islamic State group. IS rose to prominence by seizing giant swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” and lengthening associates to a number of international locations throughout the area.

IS’s bodily “caliphate” was crushed in Iraq and Syria, although its militants are nonetheless energetic and finishing up assaults. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy chief of IS 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 following the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs.

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