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The anniversary of 9/11 reminded many of the tragic events that occurred 10 years ago but also reminds the country that terrorism has yet to see its end. The country realized that it still faces threats after the chatter of an “unconfirmed but credible” attack on the 10th anniversary by Al Qaeda.
Sunday, September 11th brought thousands of families and public figures together to commemorate those who lost their lives with the opening of the official memorial in New York City. The same weekend the city was put on heightened alert over suspicion that three men were brought into the country sometime in February and were planning an attack using bombs in vehicles.
Despite the rumors, everyone continued with the commemorating and remembrance. The weekend came and went without any attack by terrorists, leaving the country relieved, but the disturbing message from Al Qaeda still resonates. Ayman al-Zawahiri who is the newest leader of Al Qaeda after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, had a message to America regarding the attacks on September 11th 2001.
Three weeks before the anniversary a 12-minute video was released of al-Zawahiri, praising the attacks of 9/11 as a “devastating blow” to the United States. Al- Zawahiri continued that the attack, “destroyed the symbol of American economy in New York and the symbol of American military might in the Pentagon.”
The jihadist websites that contained this footage showed videos of Osama Bin Laden as well. Al-Zawahiri also addressed what the attack meant for the group — being an event that “liberated thousands of the members of the Islamic movement’s prisoners, who were imprisoned by direct orders from America.”
Al-Zawahiri pushed for extremist leaders throughout the world to continue targeting the United States. “America today is staggering,” said Zawahiri. “Hunt her down wherever you may encounter her. Hunt her down to cut what is left of her corruption’s tail.” He also wanted to avenge the death of Osama Bin Laden and said the “time to attack is now.”
He continued by referring to the United States as a “murderous country.” Despite these threats by al-Qaeda, U.S counter-terrorism unit believes that the group is far from its strength under Osama Bin Laden. An official said, “Al-Zawahiri has not demonstrated strong leadership skills in the past and he is much less charismatic than bin Laden.”
David Patraeus, the director of the CIA also weighed in on Al- Zawahrir’s influence compared to Bin Laden’s saying, “Bin Laden’s demise might weaken Al Qaeda from within, because bin Laden’s personality and aura were a key for raising money for the world jihad group, and without him, the group’s worldwide network might fall apart under his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.” He also included, “Ayman al-Zawahiri is no Osama bin Laden.”
It is reassuring to know that Osama Bin Laden is no longer running Al Qeada, but it is disturbing to see that hate and evil continues on even after his death and terror remains in America’s thoughts.