On the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings, Al Qaeda has released a lengthy screed from Ayman al Zawahiri. In last year’s anniversary message, Zawahiri attempted to rebuke Islamic critics of al Qaeda’s deadliest day. This year, Zawahiri’s ire is directed at another target: Al Jazeera. In particular, the al Qaeda emir critiques a feature produced by the television network, claiming it is propaganda that is intended to undermine the mujahideen’s cause.
It is a curious subject to make the centerpiece of a message released on this day, but the video’s release was likely timed to coincide with the normalization of relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain. The video, which was produced by As Sahab, al Qaeda’s longtime media arm, is titled “Deal of the Century or the Crusade of the Century.”
Much of the production is aimed at an Al Jazeera video released in 2019.