Al-Qa’ida Leader Calls for Attacks on 9/11 Anniversary

On the 18th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, al-Qa’ida released a speech by its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, with English subtitles called, “And They Shall Continue to Fight You.” While the 33-minute video instructed extremists to wage violent jihad against the United States because of its support for Israel, his assertions were similar to previous messages.

  • Zawahiri justified his call for attacks by criticizing the United States’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and accept Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights in March 2019. He insisted that attacking the United States and its allies would diminish support for Israel and was justified because of the crimes conducted against the Palestinians.

  • Zawahiri reminded supporters of the abundance of available targets to attack by using tactics that include surveying the enemy, preparing, being inventive and creative in methods, and not expecting anyone to help. While criticizing al-Qa’ida’s opponents that condemn killing civilians, Zawahiri also labeled Israeli embassies and US and allied military bases as viable targets due to attacks against Muslims in the Sahara, Somalia, Kashmir, and Central Asia.

  • To coincide with this video on September 11, al-Qa’ida also re-released an English-language publication of its first issue of One Ummah, which was originally released in Arabic in April. Similar to the video, Zawahiri incited supporters to utilize violent jihad and unite against al-Qa’ida’s enemies.

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