Al-Qaida Chief Blames U.S. for Ukraine Invasion in New Video

Al-Zawahri, whose whereabouts are unknown, says 'U.S. weakness' allowed Ukraine to become 'prey' for Russia in video marking anniversary of bin Laden death

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Ayman al-Zawahri in a video released by Al-Qaida last month.
Ayman al-Zawahri in a video released by Al-Qaida last month. Credit: as-Sahab via AP

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri made an appearance in a pre-recorded video to mark the 11th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Osama bin Laden.

Al-Zawahri says in the video that “U.S. weakness” was the reason that its ally Ukraine became “prey” for the Russian invasion.

The 27-minute speech was released Friday according to the SITE Intelligence group, which monitors militant activity. The leader appears sitting at a desk with books and a gun.

Urging Muslim unity, al-Zawahri said the U.S. was in a state of weakness and decline and cited the impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan launched after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bin Laden was the mastermind and financier behind the attacks.

“Here [the U.S.] is after its defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, after the economic disasters caused by the 9/11 invasions, after the corona pandemic, and after it left its ally Ukraine as prey for the Russians,” he said.

Bin Laden was killed in a 2011 raid by U.S. forces on his compound hideout in Pakistan.

Al-Zawahri's whereabouts are unknown. He is wanted by the FBI and there is a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture.

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