Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, rumoured dead, surfaces in clip on 9/11 anniversary: Report
In the video, Zawahiri discussed a January 1 raid on a Russian military facility in Syria by the Al-Qaeda-aligned Hurras al-Deen.
Twenty years after the heinous terror assault on the United States, Al Qaeda commander Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was thought to be dead, has resurfaced in a video broadcast on the anniversary of 9/11. SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based firm that monitors jihadist groups' internet activity, said that Zawahiri discussed various topics.
"Amid allegations of his death, Al-Qaeda commander Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared in a new 60-minute clip, this time giving some proof that he is not dead—a particularly, reference to events following December when rumours of death arose," SITE director Rita Katz tweeted.
In the video, Zawahiri discussed a January 1 raid on a Russian military facility in Syria by the Al-Qaeda-aligned Hurras al-Deen. "May Allah Protect Him," the tape begins before introducing Zawahiri. The film also includes footage from Taliban propaganda depicting its warriors. "Yet another indicator of the Taliban's centrality in the narrative of the global jihadist movement after 9/11, and how the Taliban's triumph in Afghanistan is also Al-victory," Qaeda's Katz tweeted.
According to Katz, pro-Al Qaeda media groups are flooding the internet with 9/11 celebrations and incitements in the form of posters, films, hashtags, and so on. It's a really planned and well-prepared effort, unlike anything I've seen in past years. Furthermore, Al Qaeda's official media wing as-Sahab announced a fresh upcoming release, which appears to be a video and is set to be published today.
After US SEAL troops in Jalalabad tracked down and killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, Zawahiri took over as the group's leader. Intelligence services have yet to provide proof or strong judgments that Zawahiri is dead, leaving the question of his current whereabouts unanswered.