- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Al Qaeda is remembering September 11 as might be expected, with calls to keep killing Americans.

“American only understands the language of force,” the terror group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, instructs in a new video entitled “And they shall continue fighting you”

He said the Pentagon that day, where 125 service members and civilians died, was filled with “criminals.”

“If you want jihad to be focused solely on military targets,” he said, “the American military has presence all over the world from the East to the West. Your countries are littered with American bases… Attack them there and show us your defect-free jihad.”

A former Egyptian surgeon and right-hand man to al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri was instrumental in planning 9-11 as he and bin Laden enjoyed the protection of the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan.



He used the attack’s 18th anniversary to take on Muslim scholars who forbid the killing of innocents, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI.)

Zawahiri explained the killing process:

”After ensuring that his target is permissible in the light of the shari’a, that no harm should occur to Muslims as a result of his actions, and that the benefits of his actions outweigh the costs, all he needs to do is to put his trust in Allah and head for his target after leaving a message that the aim of his jihad operation is avenging the crimes in Palestine and all such Muslim lands.”

MEMRI, which monitors jihadi communications and press statements, picked up the video on the Telegram app channel used by al Qaeda’s media unit, Al-Shahab.

Nearly 3,000 people died when al Qaeda operatives commandeered American airliners and flew them into the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon, while heroic passengers on a fourth jet bound for Congress or the White House  forced terrorists to crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

“Were those killed in the Pentagon innocent?” Mr. Zawahiri said. “Or was it the headquarters of the biggest military power in the world that was hit and host to the biggest criminals involved in crimes against Muslims? What about the airplane that was headed for the Congress or the White House? Was it also meant to target innocents?”

He concluded by directing his hatred on the United State.

“America only understands the language of force,” he said. “Those who inflict damage on America, America tries to negotiate and arrive at an understanding with them. Those who retreat in the face of its power, America doesn’t spare them until it has completely overcome them. The Islamic Emirate dealt severe blows to America. This is why the Americans showed keenness to negotiate with them a withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

This was a reference to the collapsed talks between the Taliban, his longtime ally, and President Trump.

Like bin Laden, Zawahiri escaped the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. Since then he has avoided detection, likely moving around tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. 

Now 68, Zawahiri ascended to al Qaeda’s top post with the killing of bin Laden by Navy SEALs in May 2011 in Pakistan. The U.S. State Department is offering a $25 million reward. 

 

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