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 8:08 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
updated 6:29 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
updated 3:32 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
updated 6:49 PM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
updated 12:44 AM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
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 12:34 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT