Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri, who was presumed dead, has released a video message on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks.
The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors militants’ websites said the video was released on Saturday.
In it, al-Zawahri said that “Jerusalem will never be Judaised”, and praised al Qaeda attacks including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January, reported Associated Press.
SITE said al-Zawahri also noted the US 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.
Al-Zawahri made no mention of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul last month, SITE added.
But he did mention a Jan 1, attack that targeted Russian troops on the edge of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.
Rumours have spread since late 2020 that al-Zawahri had died from illness. Since then, no video or proof of life surfaced, until Saturday.
“He could still be dead, though if so, it would have been at some point in or after Jan 2021,” tweeted Rita Katz, SITE’s director.