In the latest video, Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian who replaced Osama Bin Laden as the group's head after the 9/11 attacks, also discussed the US departure from Afghanistan last month.
Al Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Seen in the Latest Video
In a recently published article in the Daily Mail, months after reports that he was dead, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri resurfaced in a new video commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The video was published Saturday, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist websites.
IIn it, al-Zawahiri said, "Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized," and applauded Al-Qaeda assaults, including one in Syria in January that attacked Russian soldiers. Al-Zawahiri also mentioned the US military's departure from Afghanistan after 20 years of conflict, according to SITE.
It went on to say that his remarks do not necessarily imply a recent recording, given that the Taliban's departure deal was signed in February 2020. According to SITE, al-Zawahiri made no mention of the Taliban's recent conquest of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul. He did, however, identify a January 1 assault on Russian forces on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, according to a published report in New York Post.
However, Zawahiri makes no mention of the Taliban's triumph in Afghanistan, and his statement about the US "exiting Afghanistan" may have been made as early as February 2020, after the Doha Agreement. As a result, he may still be alive, but if so, it would have been in or after January 2021.
Al-Zawahiri Believed To Be Dead Due to Poor Health Condition
Al-Zawahiri has waned in recent years, and analysts think he is in bad health. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has not confirmed al-alleged Zawahiri's death via its regular media outlets, according to a recently published news report in Hindustan Times.
According to a UN assessment released in June this year, a major portion of al Qaeda's leadership, including al-Zawahiri, lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, where he is likely alive but too weak to be portrayed in propaganda.
Additionally, the UN report stated that one member state said that he is most likely alive but too weak to be used in propaganda. In a series of tweets, Katz claimed that, despite death rumors, al-Qaeda commander Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared in a new 60-minute film, this time providing some proof that he is not dead-particularly, events following December when death reports first emerged.
Other Al-Qaeda Leaders Who were Reportedly Killed
Meanwhile, Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah, also known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was murdered in secret by two Israeli agents in Tehran in August at Washington's request. Bin Laden's son, Hamza, eventually became a key role within al Qaeda before being murdered.
Furthermore, following the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda became more well-known, and the terror organization expanded its network of affiliates across the Middle East. The Islamic State, whose videotaped beheadings and takeover of vast areas of Iraq and Syria horrified the world, was one such organization.