Chief of the al-Qaida terrorist organization Ayman al-Zawahiri revealed that he had paid a visit to the United States, without specifying the date of this trip.
He hinted during a video recording that the visit took place in the early 1990s. He said that he had traveled to the US before the arrest of Dr. Omar Abdul Rahman, the spiritual leader of the “Jamaa al-Islamiya” in Egypt.
Abdul Rahman was arrested over his connection to the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center in New York.
Zawahiri said in his video: “I was in the US for a while, shortly before my passport was about to expire.”
He revealed that he requested his Qaida followers to arrange a visit to Abdul Rahman, but they advised him against it.
They informed him that “half of his followers at mosques were FBI agents” and they may therefore become suspicious of him if he met with Abdul Rahman.
“I therefore departed the US without meeting him,” explained Zawahiri.
Abdul Rahman died in his prison in February where he had been locked up for 24 years.
It is believed that this is the first time that Zawahiri admits to visiting the US.
He was previously imprisoned in Egypt, but was released in the late 1980s and was seen in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the 1990s, he resided in the Sudanese capital Khartoum before being expelled in 1996.