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 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal boasts to CNN of fixing World Cup games adding: "I was on the bench and telling players what to do, giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:15 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
"Princess Fragrant" is the latest effort to foster harmony in China's restive Xinjiang region.
updated 10:12 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 11:40 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
AC360 looks back at the most moving moments from Michael Brown's funeral.
updated 10:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT