Rumoured To Be Dead, Al-Qaeda Chief Appears in Video Marking 20 Years Since 9/11
The video on Saturday, 11 September, was his first public appearance and proof of life since 2020.
Rumoured to have died from illness, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, made an appearance in a video marking two decades since the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.
United States' SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist web pages, said that the video was posted on Saturday, 11 September, news agency AP reported.
In the hour-long video, Al-Zawahri stated, “Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized" and hailed the militant organisation's strikes. He also acknowledged the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan.
However, as per SITE, his comments do not conclusively indicate the date of the recording, as the United States' decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was signed in February 2020, AP reported.
The leader also noted the 1 January attack on Russian soldiers in the norther city of Raqqa in Syria.
Since the end of 2020, al-Zawahri was rumoured to have succumbed to illness. However, Saturday's video was his first appearance and proof of life since 2020.
SITE director Rita Katz stated, “He could still be dead, though if so, it would have been at some point in or after Jan 2021," AP reported.
An Egyptian national, Al-Zawahri took the reigns of Al-Qaeda after the US Navy SEALs operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's Abbottabad in 2011.
(With inputs from AP.)
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