Al-Qaida chief in 9/11 speech calls for attacks on West

In this in this 1998 file photo, Ayman al-Zawahri speaks to the press in Khost, Afghanistan. (Mazhar Ali Khan/AP)

CAIRO — Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called Wednesday on Muslims to attack U.S., European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

“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 said. “Your countries are littered with American bases, with all the infidels therein and the corruption they spread.”

IS’s physical “caliphate” was crushed in Iraq and Syria, though its militants are still active and carrying out attacks.

The U.N. report said the “immediate global threat posed by al-Qaida remains unclear” but warned that some would-be IS recruits could turn to older organization.

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