Ayman al-Zawahri: Al Qaeda Leader Threatens ‘Gravest Consequences’ If Boston Marathon Bomber Is Executed

Ayman al-Zawahri, the elusive leader of terrorist organization al Qaeda, has in a new video warned the United States of “grave consequences” if it goes ahead with the execution of Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a Reuters report said. He added that the al Qaeda would not tolerate the execution of any Muslim prisoner in the U.S. In the undated video clip released earlier today, Zawahri is heard saying,

“If the U.S. administration kills our brother the hero Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any Muslim, it… will bring America’s nationals the gravest consequences.

He was also extremely critical of other western powers and further added,

“Western powers are criminals and they only understand the language of force”.

The entire video is reportedly over an hour long.

In the clip, Zawahri also urged Muslims across the world to launch attacks against people living in western countries who have supported what he called the “crusaders” campaign led by the United States. He also urged them to kidnap westerners and use them to secure the release of Muslim prisoners incarcerated in the United States. In the video, Zawahri is reportedly seen wearing white robes. The video comes nearly a year after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by lethal injection following his trial last year. He was the co-accused in the 2013 Boston marathon bombings that killed three people and left more than 260 people injured.

Ayman al-Zawahri was named the leader of the al Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden, who was killed after a decade-long manhunt in May 2011. There is currently no indication on the whereabouts of al-Zawahri. He is however, believed to be living in the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Experts are taking a close look at the video in an attempt to check for any clues that may lead to the capture of the Saudi-born cleric.

Meanwhile, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently being held at the “Supermax” high-security prison in Florence, Colorado. His attorneys are reportedly planning to appeal his death sentence. It was on April 15, 2013, that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his elder brother Tamerlan carried out the Boston bombings. According to the FBI, the brothers, who were immigrants from Chechnya, were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs. They were, however, not connected to any terrorist groups and carried out the bombings all by themselves. During his interrogation, Dzhokhar told investigators that the attack was carried out on the behest of Tamerlan who “wanted to defend Islam from the U.S., which conducted the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan.”

Boston bombings 2013
Emma MacDonald, 21, center, reacts while remembering the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions during a vigil at Boston Common, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, one day after bombs exploded at the finish line of the marathon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The brothers allegedly learned to make bombs using a magazine published by al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen. The brothers were reportedly planning for suicide strikes on the 4th of July, but decided to abort that plan and decided to conduct the bombings. Following the bombings, a massive manhunt was launched to nab the suspects. Three days after the attack, the brothers were involved in a shootout with the police at the end of which Tamerlan was killed. Tsarnaev was, however, able to escape on a stolen SUV. He was finally arrested a few hours later.

Meanwhile, experts believe that this latest video is an attempt by al Qaeda to “stay relevant” following the rise of the Islamic State or the ISIS. While the al Qaeda was known for its ruthlessness, the ISIS has, in the past, been described even by al Qaeda to be “too extreme”. Unlike al Qaeda, which remained a terrorist organization since its inception, the Islamic State has had a meteoric rise and now controls significant portions of two war-torn countries — Iraq and Syria

[Image – al Qaeda leaderAP Photo/Charles Krupa, File]