Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called Wednesday on Muslims to attack US, European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online activity of jihadist groups, reported that in a video released by the militant group, the 68-year-old al-Zawahri also criticizes 'backtrackers' from jihad, referring to former jihadis who changed their views in prison and called the 9/11 attacks unacceptable because innocent civilians were harmed.
'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,' he said. 'Your countries are littered with American bases, with all the infidels therein and the corruption they spread.' The coordinated al-Qaida hijackings on 11 September 2001 killed nearly 3,000 people, when airliners slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and another crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Al-Zawahri's speech was recorded in a 33-minute, 28-second video produced by the group's as-Sahab Media Foundation.