On Saturday, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, who has been rumored to be deceased in recent months, appeared in a video marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Al-Zawahri said in the 61-minute, 37-second video produced by the group's as-Sahab Media Foundation, that "Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized."
He also praised al-Qaeda attacks that included one on January 1 that targeted Russian troops in Raqqa, Syria.
According to the Associated Press, SITE also noted that al-Zawahri addressed the US military's withdrawal from Afghanistan following 20 years of war in the country, but made no address on the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Since late 2020, rumors have spread that al-Zawahri, who became leader of al-Qaeda after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, died from an illness, with no video or proof showing that he still lives appearing until Saturday.
SITE noted that al-Zawahri's comments on the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan do not signal a recent recording though, as the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban was signed in February 2020.
"He could still be dead, though if so, it would have been at some point in or after Jan 2021," tweeted SITE director Rita Katz.