On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, al-Qaeda’s official media arm as-Sahab released a 60-minute video statement of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s elusive leader who was rumoured to be dead.
The documentary-style video, released on Telegram, is titled ‘Jerusalem will not be Judaised’.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over the command of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden, was underground for a long time. The news of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death from illness also surfaced in November 2020, after which neither any video about him was revealed nor any information related to him.
However, Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared completely healthy in the new video released on Saturday.
Since the morning of September 11, the as-Sahab media started running promos of coming soon on some Telegram channels.
After that, an 852-page book written by Ayman al-Zawahiri was released on a Telegram channel, in which he talked about the future of al-Qaeda. The book, believed to be written in April 2021, mentions Kashmiri jihadi Ilyas Kashmiri who was killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan in 2011, and Maulana Asim Umar, the chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent, who was killed by Afghan forces in 2019 in Afghanistan.
Hours after the release of the book, a 60-minute video of Ayman al-Zawahiri was released in which he remembered and praised the many al-Qaeda terrorists killed in 2020.
In the video, there was no mention of the recent developments in Afghanistan or the return of the Taliban regime. Only once in the video was Afghanistan mentioned, when Ayman al-Zawahiri said that after 20 years of war, America is “broken and shattered” and finally returning from Afghanistan.
In the video, Ayman al-Zawahiri remembered the 19 mujahideen fighters who “wounded America’s heart” and inflicted wounds that the US had not suffered before.
Many jihadi fighters were also shown in the video.