Months after rumours that Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was dead, he appeared in a new video, marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors jihadist websites said the video was released on Saturday.

In the video, al-Zawahri said that “Jerusalem will never be judaized.” He also praised al-Qaida attacks including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January.

The intelligence group said that the Al-Qaida chief also spoke about the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.

While he did not mention the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul last month, he did make a note of a January 1 attack that targeted Russian troops on the edge of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

Since late 2020, rumours are rife that al-Zawahri had died from illness and there was no evidence of life, until Saturday.

“He could still be dead, though if so, it would have been at some point in or after Jan 2021,” tweeted Rita Katz, SITE’s director.

“Nonetheless, intelligence agencies have, as of yet, offered no proof or solid assessments that Zawahiri is dead, leaving the question of his current status in the air,” she added.

Al-Zawahiri’s speech was recorded in a 61-minute, 37-second video produced by the group’s as-Sahab Media Foundation.

“Amid rumors of his death, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri shown in new 60-minute video, this time offering some evidence that he is not dead–particularly, reference to events after December, when rumors of death surfaced. (A speech from March offered no such proof),” Rita tweeted.

In recent years, al-Qaida has faced competition in jihadi circles from its rival, the Islamic State group. IS rose to prominence by seizing large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” and extending affiliates to multiple countries across the region.

Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, became leader of al-Qaida following the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan by US Navy SEALs.

(With inputs from Associated Press