Al-Qaeda chief rumored to be dead appears in 9/11 video message

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FILE – In this 1998 file photo made available Friday, March 19, 2004, Ayman al-Zawahri poses for a photograph with Osama bin Laden in Khost, Afghanistan. In a recorded message posted on militant websites late Friday, April 4, 2014, the leader of al-Qaida endorsed a previous call for Islamic arbitration by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front over the death of Abu Khaled al-Suri, who it and its allies say was killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has appeared in a new video marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, attacks, months after rumors spread that he was dead.

The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors jihadist websites said the video was released Saturday. In it, al-Zawahri said that “Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized,” and praised al-Qaida attacks including on that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January.

SITE said al-Zawahri also noted the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. It added that his comments do not necessarily indicate a recent recording, as the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban was signed in February 2020.

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