Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Wednesday for Muslims to attack American, European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech marking the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online activity from jihadist groups, reported that in a video posted by the militant group, 68-year-old al-Zawahri also criticized jihadists, citing ex-jihadists who changed He called his opinion in prison and called the 9/11 attacks unacceptable because innocent civilians had been injured.
"If you want Jihad to focus solely on military purposes, the US Army has a worldwide presence, from East to West," he said. ipani with American bases, with all the infidels in them, and the corruption they spread. "
Al-Qaeda's coordinated hijackings on September 11, 2001 killed nearly 3,000 people when planes crashed at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and another crashed in
Al-Zawahri's speech was recorded in a 33-minute 28-second video created by the group's As-Sahab Media Foundation.
As an indicator of when the speech might have been recorded, al-Zawahri mentions the recognition of President Donald Trump for the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, which was announced on March 25. He calls on the Palestinians to seek "martyrdom" by attacking the Israelis with a suicide vest in response.
Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, became the leader of al-Qaeda after the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbtabad, Pakistan by US Navy SEALs. He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the Afghanistan / Pakistan border area. A July report from the US cites reports that he was "in poor health" but did not provide any details.
In recent years, al-Qaeda has dealt with the waiver of competition in jihadi circles by its rival, the Islamic State group. ISIS exploded with the capture of large units in Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring it a caliphate and expanding affiliates in many countries in the region.
The physical caliphate of ISIS has been shattered in Iraq and Syria, though its fighters are still
The UN report says "the imminent global threat created by al-Qaeda remains unclear" but warned that some potential IS recruits may be targeting an older organization.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda militants have taken a lower profile, using regional conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to establish themselves. The Yemeni branch is the most active, using the chaos of the civil war to carry out bombings, shootings and killings in an attempt to expand its footprint.
Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden was considered a possible successor to al-Qaeda's leadership, but was killed in a military operation, US officials said. Al-Zawahri praised Hamza in a 2015 video that appeared on jihadi websites, calling it "al Qaeda lion."
The new video was released asThe thinking fighters are another attack on America.
"If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American strength and the iron will of the American spirit, and that spirit is unbreakable," Mr. Trump said at the Pentagon.