The SITE Intelligence group that monitors Jihadist websites on Saturday claimed that Al-Qaida leader al-Zawahri who was rumoured dead has appeared in a video marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. The claim has created much abuzz amid the international sphere as rumours erupted of Zawahri being dead in late 2020 from an ailing illness.
The Intelligence group said that in the video, al-Zawahri claimed that “Jerusalem will never be Judaized” and praised al-Qaida attacks including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January. It is also reported that Zawahri did not mention anything about the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and American Troops withdrawal.
Since late 2020, rumours were spread that al-Zawahri had died from an illness. From then no video evidence or proof of life of Zawahri surfaced, until Saturday. “He could still be dead, though of so, it would have been at some point in or after January 2021, tweeted Rita Katz, SITE director.
Born on 19 June 1951 in Egypt, Ayman al-Zawahiri is a physician who speaks Arabic and French. He founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which merged with Al Qaeda in 1998. He became Al Qaeda chief after the killing of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALS in 2011. After Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza, who was viewed as a possible heir to the outfit was killed in a military operation, al-Zawahiri lauded Hamza in 2015 as a “lion from the den of Al-Qaeda.”