Skip to main content

Al Qaeda issues message about September 11th

By Ben Brumfield and Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, pictured here in a 2006 file photograph, has called for fresh attacks on the United States.
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, pictured here in a 2006 file photograph, has called for fresh attacks on the United States.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • To commemorate 9/11, al Qaeda's leader issued new threats
  • Ayman al-Zawahiri called on his followers to "land a large strike"
  • He named the Boston Marathon bombings as an example
  • Drone strikes have weakened al Qaeda in Yemen

(CNN) -- Americans commemorated this week the loss of those who died at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. Their leader chimed in a day later with new threats against the United States.

Ayman al-Zawahiri called on his followers in an audio message posted on the Internet on Thursday to "land a large strike on it, even if it takes years of patience for this."

9/11 anniversary: 'Our hearts still ache,' Obama says

Al-Zawahiri has headed al Qaeda, since a U.S. military operation killed his predecessor and al Qaeda's founder, Osama bin Laden, in May 2011 in Pakistan.

In his message, he claimed victory against the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. He called on terrorists to continue the battle on American soil.

Al Qaeda leader orders immediate action

Al-Zawahiri named the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 as an example of such an attack.

Read more: Jihadist terrorism in America since 9/11

He encouraged his followers to provoke the United States into spending more on security, in order to "bleed America economically."

In August the Obama administration closed 19 embassies and consulates across the Middle East and North Africa after intercepting communications between al Qaeda leaders indicating possible strikes on U.S. interests.

In a message between al-Zawahiri and a top ally in Yemen, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror chief told the Yemeni commander to "do something," which U.S. officials inferred to mean an attack.

In his audio message Thursday, Zawahiri also claimed victory over the United States in Yemen.

But extensive drone attacks there allegedly carried out by the United States over the past two years have whittled away at al Qaeda's infrastructure and killed key leaders, diminishing its ability to carry out attacks.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT