Aging al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri threatened the “gravest consequences” for America if the Boston Marathon bomber is executed.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is sentenced to death by lethal injection. Tsarnaev, along with his older brother, Tamerlan, killed three people and injured over 260 others. Tamerlan, 26, was captured but later died due to injuries sustained fleeing the police.
The bomber gave an insincere apology during his trial in which he faced 17 indictments carrying the death penalty.
Al-Zawahiri did not stop at threatening retribution over Tsarnaev. He added that he would attack America if any other Muslim prisoners are executed.
The jury that convicted Tsarnaev considered sending him to a supermax prison in Colorado. This “Alcatraz of the Rockies” holds a litany of known terrorists including Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in a civilian court of the 9/11 attacks.
Al-Zawahiri has eluded U.S. strikes since he took over al-Qaida following Osama bin Laden’s death. He has survived four assassination attempts and uses green screen technology in his videos to mask his location.
Some experts have argued al-Zawahiri is fading from relevance thanks to Islamic State. However, Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, explained that “a large number of jihadis are still loyal to him.”
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