Ayman al-Zawahiri Appears in New al Qaeda Video Release
A new hour-long video released by al Qaeda’s al-Sahab media arm featuring the new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was released to jihadist websites on Monday, September 12th. The video, which marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, displays an image of Zawahiri while an audio recording of his plays, in which he calls the Arab Spring a “devastating blow” to the United States. The video also features video footage of Osama bin Laden, the same footage that was released by the American government following bin Laden’s death; except this time, the footage was released with sound. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, bin Laden’s message warns Americans against “falling as slaves” to major corporations and “Jewish money capital.” Officials within the US believe the bin Laden video footage, titled “A Message to the American People,” was recorded in October or November of 2010.
In his new message, titled “The Dawn of Imminent Victory,” Zawahiri claims that the US lost key regional allies during the Arab Spring. "The Arab people have been freed from the chains of fear and terror, so who is the winner and who is the loser? ... The blessed rebellious Arab earthquake has turned America's calculations head over heels." Zawahiri further criticized the US for what he called "blatant deception" as the US supports the uprisings in the Arab world, yet maintains its strong ties with leaders in the “absolute monarchies” of the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia.
Zawahiri has previously discussed the Arab Spring along with other al Qaeda figures. It appears al Qaeda is attempting to associate themselves with the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, among others. The US, on the other hand, believes that the uprisings display al Qaeda’s irrelevance, revolutions suggesting that Arab youths engaging in peaceful protest in their countries counteracts al Qaeda and their affiliated movements’ calls for violent jihad.
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