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Al-Qaeda leader threatens US in video ahead of 9/11 anniversary

2012 image, courtesy Site Intelligence Group, shows Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking in a video from an undisclosed location. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Washington, DC, United States Sep 11, 2016, 06.15 AM (IST)
Terrorist group al-Qaeda has warned US of dire consequences if its "crimes continue" in a video released ahead of the 15th anniversary of the deadly attacks in US on September 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people, according to multiple reports. 

In a video translated by the SITE intelligence group, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is quoted by ABC News as saying: "We mark in these days the passage of nearly 15 years since the blessed invasions in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania." He also warns US that "as long as your crimes continue, then the events of September 11 will be repeated a thousand times, Allah permitting." 

Former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke interpreted the video as a part of al-Qaeda's push to remain relevant in a world where rival terrorist organisation, the Islamic State, draws more attention and far more recruits.

"The fact that he is communicating on the anniversary is an attempt by him to remind everybody that he exists and is the nominal head of [al-Qaeda]," he said.

Unlike the group's leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 by US special forces, Zawahiri has evaded capture for over a decade. He is believed to be in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Last month, he apppeared in a series of videos, urging Muslims to unite against the ISIS and "crusaders" in Muslim lands.

The CIA, meanwhile, said the agency was aware of the new video but declined to comment further about it.


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