Al-Qaeda Leader Appears in 9/11 Anniversary Video


Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The leader of al-Qaeda appeared in a video online Friday, ahead of the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, calling the deadly attack a “slap” to the U.S. and its allies.

“We mark in these days the passage of nearly 15 years since the blessed invasions in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania,” Ayman al-Zawahiri says in the video, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Al-Zawahiri later threatens the U.S. again, saying that “as long as your crimes continue, then the events of Sept. 11 will be repeated a thousand times, Allah permitting.”

The video is part of al-Qaeda’s recent push to remain relevant in a world in which a rival terrorist organization, ISIS, draws more attention and far more recruits, according to former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke.

“The fact that he is communicating on the anniversary is an attempt by him to remind everybody that he exists and is the nominal head of [al-Qaeda],” said Clarke, now an ABC News consultant.

Elsewhere in the video, al-Zawahiri appears to make a veiled criticism of ISIS, saying that “real soldiers … do not impose themselves on you as rulers without your acceptance and consultation.”

Clarke said the video also indicates that al-Zawahiri has learned from the security mistakes of Osama bin Laden. Despite being wanted by the U.S. since the late 1990s and a $25 million reward for information leading to al-Zawahiri’s capture, he has managed to elude authorities.

Clarke said he suspects al-Zawahiri is hiding somewhere in Pakistan, as was bin Laden, but likely moving around far more frequently. A senior Pakistani diplomat told ABC News in late July that of course that’s a possibility, but no one knows.

The CIA, which tracked bin Laden to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after an intense, decade-long manhunt, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the new video.

Though he has made relatively few public statements, al-Zawahiri, who took over al-Qaeda after U.S. forces killed bin Laden in May 2011, revealed himself last month in a series of videos in which he urged Muslims to unite against the “crusaders” in Muslim lands and also against the rival terrorist group ISIS.

In the video released online Friday, al-Zawahiri is dressed similarly and sits before what appears to be the same curtain background as last month’s videos.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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Al-Qaeda Leader Appears in 9/11 Anniversary Video


Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The leader of al-Qaeda appeared in a video online Friday, ahead of the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, calling the deadly attack a “slap” to the U.S. and its allies.

“We mark in these days the passage of nearly 15 years since the blessed invasions in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania,” Ayman al-Zawahiri says in the video, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Al-Zawahiri later threatens the U.S. again, saying that “as long as your crimes continue, then the events of Sept. 11 will be repeated a thousand times, Allah permitting.”

The video is part of al-Qaeda’s recent push to remain relevant in a world in which a rival terrorist organization, ISIS, draws more attention and far more recruits, according to former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke.

“The fact that he is communicating on the anniversary is an attempt by him to remind everybody that he exists and is the nominal head of [al-Qaeda],” said Clarke, now an ABC News consultant.

Elsewhere in the video, al-Zawahiri appears to make a veiled criticism of ISIS, saying that “real soldiers … do not impose themselves on you as rulers without your acceptance and consultation.”

Clarke said the video also indicates that al-Zawahiri has learned from the security mistakes of Osama bin Laden. Despite being wanted by the U.S. since the late 1990s and a $25 million reward for information leading to al-Zawahiri’s capture, he has managed to elude authorities.

Clarke said he suspects al-Zawahiri is hiding somewhere in Pakistan, as was bin Laden, but likely moving around far more frequently. A senior Pakistani diplomat told ABC News in late July that of course that’s a possibility, but no one knows.

The CIA, which tracked bin Laden to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after an intense, decade-long manhunt, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the new video.

Though he has made relatively few public statements, al-Zawahiri, who took over al-Qaeda after U.S. forces killed bin Laden in May 2011, revealed himself last month in a series of videos in which he urged Muslims to unite against the “crusaders” in Muslim lands and also against the rival terrorist group ISIS.

In the video released online Friday, al-Zawahiri is dressed similarly and sits before what appears to be the same curtain background as last month’s videos.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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You must be logged in to post a comment.