Al Qaeda released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings. Zawahiri argues that the jihadists must view various conflicts raging around the globe as a “single war with different fronts against a united enemy.”
The Department of Defense announced the transfer of Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi to the Government of Montenegro. Joint Task Force Guantanamo, President Obama’s Guantanamo Review Task Force, and a Periodic Review Board all previously deemed Rahabi too dangerous to transfer. A PRB cited his “possible” role in an aborted part of the 9/11 plot, but reversed its decision and eventually approved him for transfer.
The Islamic State’s propagandists have celebrated the terrorist attacks in Brussels with videos, articles and infographics praising the three suicide bombers responsible. One video features two Belgian fighters who say the operation was a “new 9/11” and part of Osama bin Laden’s legacy.
AQAP has published a two-part interview with Nasir al Wuhayshi, who was killed in a US drone strike in June 2015. The interview is a transcript of Wuhayshi’s account of the 9/11 plot. Wuhayshi was Osama bin Laden’s aide-de-camp prior to the hijackings.
Lahcen Ikassrien, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, was arrested earlier this month in Spain. Leaked State Department cables and a threat assessment authored by Joint Task Force Guantanamo link Ikassrien to an al Qaeda cell run by one of Osama bin Laden’s most trusted operatives in pre-9/11 Europe.
Twice during congressional hearings last year, The Long War Journal warned that jihadists were looking to secure Mohammed Zammar’s release in Syria. Zammar recruited the Hamburg cell, including the suicide hijack pilots for 9/11.