On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a wanted terrorist leader called for Muslims around the globe to launch new attacks on the United States.
In a video 33-minute video acquired by multiple intelligence agencies, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri condemned Muslims who have softened their stance on violence and lashed out on convicted terrorists who have been reformed while in prison.
His message encouraged attacks on all Americans, but offered advice to Muslims who only wish to harm Americans in uniform. “If you want Jihad to be focused solely on military targets, the American military has presence all over the world, from the East to the West. Your countries are littered with American bases, with all the infidels therein and the corruption they spread,” he said in the video.
President Trump fired back during a speech at the Pentagon on Wednesday. “If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit. And that spirit is unbreakable,” he said.
Al Qaeda is believed to have been behind the planning and execution of the terror attacks that occured on September 11, 2001. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in simultaneous attacks in New York, Washington, and Pensylvania.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian, took the leadership role of the terror group after his predecessor, Osama bin Laden, was gunned down by Navy SEALS in 2011. The U.S. State Department’s Rewards For Justice Program offers a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of al-Zawahiri.