Last updated at 12:48 PM on 12th October 2011
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a video in which he celebrates the ‘defeat’ of the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 60-year-old Egyptian-born doctor praises 9/11 for ‘attacking America at its core’, in the footage released on jihadist websites last night.
In his sixth message since Osama Bin Laden’s death in May, Zawahiri also describes the fall of Arab ‘despots’ in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt as defeats for ‘their master America’.
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Incitement: The video shows Bin Laden’s former No 2 wearing white as he rails against the U.S.
America’s enemy: Zawahiri celebrates the fall of Arab ‘despots’ and the ‘defeat’ of the U.S. following their withdrawal of troops
The terrorist leader, who took control of Al Qaeda in June, wears a white turban in the footage released last night, while sitting casually in an armchair without the rifle he has had beside him in previous messages.
Zawahiri, who helped found Al Qaeda by merging Bin Laden’s group with his Egyptian Islamic Jihad, calls the U.S. ‘the symbol of murder in human history’ in the 13-minute video.
The two leaders issued a fatwa in 1998, believed to have been written by Zawahiri, called World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders.
Their joint career of terror began with the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania later that year, and continued with the USS Cole attack of 2000 and then 9/11.
‘[Osama bin Laden] attacked America at its core in the biggest attacks since Pearl Harbour,’ says Zawahiri of the Al Qaeda leader who was killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in May.
Glorifying violence: The terrorist leader praised the 9/11 attacks in his sixth video since Bin Laden’s death
Wanted man: The U.S. have offered $25million for the death or capture of the Egyptian-born extremist
Zawahiri is under indictment in the U.S. for the embassy attacks and America has offered $25million for information leading to his death or capture since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He is one of a shrinking number of high-profile Al Qaeda militants, with an estimated 10 leaders killed this year.
In a message released in August, just three weeks before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, he urged his ‘Muslim brothers’ to avenge Bin Laden’s death.
‘America today is staggering,’ said Zawahiri. ‘Hunt her down wherever you may encounter her. Hunt her down to cut what is left of her corruption’s tail.’
‘Hunt her down until history says that a murderous country spread corruption in the earth so God sent his faithful to her to make an example out of her.’
Just before the anniversary, U.S. officials were scrambling to sort through CIA information that suggested at least three individuals flew into the country in August with the intent to attack Washington, D.C. or New York.
Intelligence officials said the alleged terror plot, which they called specific and credible, was initiated by Zawahiri.
Zawahiri also applauded the Arab Spring revolutions in a tape released in September, as a devastating blow to American interests. In that message, he also praised the 9/11 ‘invasions’ that ‘shook the foundations of the global crusaders and still shake it.’
Hunted down: Anwar al-Awlaki (left), a U.S.-born Yemeni cleric and recruiter for Al Qaeda, was killed early this month by CIA drones – reportedly along with bomb-maker Ibrahim al-Asiri
Power: Reported Al Qaeda No 2 Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (left) was killed in August and Osama bin Laden in May