On the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the leader of al-Qaida called on Muslims to carry out more attacks on targets in America, Europe, Israel and Russia, CBS News reports.
In a 33-minute video produced by al-Qaida's media arm, as-Sahab, Ayman al-Zawahiri — the 68-year-old Egyptian national who took over the Islamic militant organization in 2011 following the death of Osama bin Laden — encouraged Muslims to seek out and hit U.S. bases.
"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 says in the footage. "Your countries are littered with American bases, with all the infidels therein and the corruption they spread."
The video was first discovered on Wednesday by SITE Intelligence Group, a company that tracks the online activity of white supremacist and jihadist groups.
In the video, Al-Zawahiri also references President Trump's assertion that the Golan Heights, a region of strategic military importance, is part of Israel and calls on Palestinians to respond by attacking Israelis with a suicide vest. At one point, the al-Qaida leader criticizes former jihadis who, during their time in prison, changed their views on the 9/11 attacks, calling them "backtrackers" from jihad.
Al-Zawahiri, who is believed to be hiding somewhere along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, has previously called for jihad. In May 2018, he urged Muslims to carry out attacks against the United States after the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem — a decision that drew the anger of Palestinians.
The immediate global threat from al-Qaida, which has competed with other militant organizations like the Islamic State, is still unclear, according to CBS News, which cites a United Nations report. Though its roots date back to 1989, al-Qaida came to prominence in September 2001, when it organized a series of terror attacks on the U.S. and caused the deaths of approximately 3,000 people.
On Wednesday, Trump commemorated the attacks by issuing stern words against those considering another attack against the U.S.
"If for any reason they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before, and I'm not even talking about nuclear power," he said at the Pentagon. "They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them."
16 most iconic images from September 11, 2001 and aftermath
16 most iconic images from September 11, 2001 and aftermath
Content in this photo gallery may be difficult for some to see -- viewer discretion is advised.
This September 11, 2001 file photo shows US President George W. Bush interrupted by his Chief of Staff Andrew Card(L) shortly after news of the New York City airplane crashes was available in Sarasota, Florida.
(Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 (L) flies toward the World Trade Center twin towers shortly before slamming into the south tower as the north tower burns following an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City September 11, 2001. The stunning aerial assaults on the huge commercial complex where more than 40,000 people worked on an ordinary day were part of a coordinated attack aimed at the nation's financial heart. They destroyed one of America's most dramatic symbols of power and financial strength and left New York reeling. (REUTERS/Sean Adair)
The second tower of the World Trade Center explodes into flames after being hit by a airplane, New York September 11, 2001 with the Brooklyn bridge in the foreground. Both towers of the complex collapsed after being hit by hijacked planes.
(REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek)
Photo shows the point of impact where a plane crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center in New York City early September 11, 2001. Three hijacked planes crashed into major U.S. landmarks on Tuesday, destroying both of New York's mighty twin towers and plunging the Pentagon in Washington into flames, in an unprecedented assault on key symbols of U.S. military and financial power.
(Jeff Christensen / Reuters)
This 11 September 2001 file photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York. Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area.
(Photo credit STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A true-color image taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) aboard the Landsat 7 satellite on September 12, 2001 shows New York City and the smoldering World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks in this handout photo courtesy of NASA. The image was captured at roughly 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
A person falls to their death from the World Trade Center after two planes hit the Twin Towers September 11, 2001 in New York City.
(Photo by Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images)
The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses September 11, 2001 in New York City.
(Thomas Nilsson/ Getty Images)
This 11 September 2001 file photo shows pedestrians running from the scene as one of the World Trade Center towers collapses in New York City following a terrorist plane crash on the twin towers.
(DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
The remaining tower of New York's World Trade Center, Tower 2, dissolves in
a cloud of dust and debris about a half hour after the first twin tower
collapsed September 11, 2001. Each of the towers were hit by hijacked
airliners in one of numerous acts of terrorism directed at the United States
September 11, 2001. The pictures were made from across the Hudson River in
Jersey City, New Jersey. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
A group of firefighters walk amid rubble near the base of the destroyed
South World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. In the
worst terror attack on the U.S. mainland in modern history, two
hijacked planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center
in New York - where about 40,000 people work - and a third plane hit
the Pentagon, across the Potomac river from Washington. REUTERS/Peter
Rescue workers carry fatally injured New York City Fire Depatment Chaplain, Father Mychal Judge, from one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City, early September 11, 2001. Both towers were hit by planes crashing into the buildings and collapsed a short time later.
The damaged area of the Pentagon building, where a hijacked commercial jetliner slammed into it September 11, 2001, is seen in this file photo with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background, at sunrise on September 16, 2001.
A New York City fireman calls for more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center September 15, 2001.
(REUTERS/Handout/U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres)
Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center after two hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York.
(Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)
Members of the New York Fire and Police Departments salute as a truck carrying the last steel column of the World Trade Center moves up West Street from inside of the World Trade Center site May 30, 2002 as the recovery effort at Ground Zero officially ends in New York.