- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

The leader of al Qaeda has addressed the world in a video statement on the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, calling the massacre “blessed raids” and urging Muslims to cause more bloodshed in America.

Ayman al-Zawahiri was No. 2 to Osama bin Laden when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked airliners and drove them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people. Passengers attacked the cockpit of a fourth aircraft meant for another target in Washington, causing the hijackers to drive the plane into farm land in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard.

In his 20-minute video address Friday, Zawahiri addresses Americans and his followers, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI):

“The events of 9/11 were a direct result of your crimes against us, your crimes in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Islamic Maghreb, and Egypt [and] the result of your occupation of Muslim lands, theft of their resources, and support for the murderous corrupt criminals, who rule over them. … As long as your crimes continue, the events of 9/11 will be repeated thousands of times, by the will of Allah. And we will follow you — if you don’t cease your aggression [against us] — until the Day of Judgment…”

He refers to his terrorist followers as the “mujahideen” and claims their numbers are increasing.

“There it is, the jihadi awakening [movement] increasing — thanks to Allah — many times over what it used to be before the blessed raids,” he says.

He urges Muslims to overthrow their governments.

“It has become clear to you that your rulers are tools in the hands of the secular Safavid Crusader alliance, the alliance of the devils, headed by American and the West,” he says.

“Your true soldiers are your mujahideen sons … who wish for you to live free and honored in the shade of the righteous caliphate, in which the Ummah [all Muslims] chooses, holds accountable, and ousts its imam.”

Zawahiri, a surgeon once imprisoned in Egypt, ascended to the top of al Qaeda after U.S. SEALs killed bin Laden in May 2011. An old clip of the terror leader was also shown by al Qaeda’s media wing Al-Sahab.

Zawahiri, 65, has evaded capture for over a decade. He is thought to be in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

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