Beirut, Sep 12 (PTI) The leader of the terrorist organization Ayman al-Zawahiri has once again surfaced in a video released by al-Qaeda on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. Rumors of his death had spread a few months back. The SITE intelligence group, which monitors jihadi websites, said the latest video was released on Saturday. In the video, Zawahiri is heard saying that “Jerusalem will never be Jewish.”
SITE said Zawahiri also outlined the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting. The group said Zawahiri’s remarks did not necessarily imply that the video was recently recorded as the US withdrawal agreement was signed with the Taliban in February 2020.
SITE said al-Zawahiri did not mention the Taliban occupation of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul last month, but did mention a January 1 attack in the Syrian city of Raqqa targeting Russian troops.
It is noteworthy that late last year there were rumors that al-Zawahiri had died of illness and no video had surfaced since then.
SITE director Rita Katz said it was possible that she had died, if so, she may have died in January 2021 or sometime after that.
Al Zawahiri’s speech was recorded in a 61 minute 37 second video and produced by the terrorist organization’s Sahab Media Foundation.
Al Zawahiri is originally from Egypt and became the leader of Al Qaeda in 2011 after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
AP Dheeraj Avinash