NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became the leader of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals, celebrated the 15th anniversary of the terror group's Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93 with a call for black Americans to turn to Islam.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that al-Zawahiri appeared in a 20-minute address recalling the attacks and, after excoriating the U.S. as the source of the world's evils, said the American system of just will never be reformed to give equal treatment to minorities. The video was also accompanied by an archival clip of Malcolm X speaking.
Malcolm X was once part of the Nation of Islam, now led by Louis Farrakhan, but was "put out" after a dispute with its leader Elijah Muhammad. He claimed Elijah Muhammad was the father of eight illegitimate children by six different teenage girls who were his "private personal secretaries." He was later assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam for the allegation.
"We inform every weakened [person] in the world: America is the source of calamity and the head of evil in this world," al-Zawahiri said. "It is the one that humiliates the Africans [African Americans] until this day, and no matter how much they try to reform and obtain their rights according to the law and the [U.S.] Constitution, they will not attain it, for the law is in the hands of the white majority, [who] control it as they wish. And [African Americans] will not be saved but by Islam."
In the video released by al-Sahab, al-Qaeda's media arm, al-Zawahiri memorializes the Sept. 11 hijackers for the "blessed raids" that used planes to kill 3,000 Americans in New York and Washington, D.C. He also confirmed that the White House or the U.S. Capitol, home to what he called "the biggest criminals," was the fourth intended target for the day. Those sites were spared when passengers revolted on United Flight 93, which the terrorists crashed in Pennsylvania.
He also said the attacks were meant to be a wakeup call for Americans.
"The events of 9/11 were a direct result of your crimes against us, your crimes in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Islamic Maghreb, and Egypt [and] the result of your occupation of Muslim lands, theft of their resources, and support for the murderous corrupt criminals, who rule over them," al-Zawahiri said.
Al-Zawahiri then claimed the tragedy of Sept. 11 would be repeated "thousands of times, by the will of Allah" if the U.S. did not withdraw from the Muslim world. He said Muslims should concentrate on bringing the fight to American soil and to the lands belonging to U.S. allies.
They should also, he said, be wary of Muslim movements – such as the Salafists (the Islamic State or ISIS) – that emerged during the Arab Spring. He called those movements "sheep" and agents of the U.S. that have sought to divide the Muslim world.
"It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9-11 attacks," Farrakhan said. "If they can prove me wrong, like I said, I'll pay with my life, since they want to kill me anyway."