Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has claimed in a new posted online video that Somalia-based terrorist group al Shabaab has joined its ranks.
"I give you good news today that will make the faithful happy and the Crusaders cringe: al Shabaab in Somalia has joined al Qaeda," ABC News quoted Zawahiri, who took over al Qaeda's leadership after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in his Abbottabad hideout, as saying.
The video also features an audio statement allegedly by al-Shabaab leader Sheikh Abu Zubeyr in which he pledges allegiance to Zawahiri.
"The entire world attests that America's days are over and her rule has gone and her minions in the land of Muslims-their end has come," a man identified as Zubeyr says.
US officials, however, did not pay much heed to Zawahiri's announcement, saying it was already a well known fact.
"Zawahiri's announcement just formalizes what everyone already knew: al-Shabaab is an affiliate of al Qaeda. This doesn't change the fact that al Qaeda's core is still suffering and trying to remain relevant," a U.S. official said. (ANI)
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