Ayman al-Zawahiri: From Cairo doctor to Al Qaeda leader

Ayman al-Zawahiri, 71, was killed in a US drone strike, President Joe Biden announced on live television. US officials said the attack took place on Sunday in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

Ayman al-Zawahiri succeeded Osama bin Laden as leader of al Qaeda after years as chief organizer and strategist, but his lack of charisma and competition from rival Islamic State militants have prompted spectacular attacks on the West. hindered their ability. US President Joe Biden said on live television Monday night that 71-year-old Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike. US officials said the attack took place on Sunday in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

He watched with dismay how al-Qaeda was effectively sidelined by the Arab uprisings of 2011, launched primarily by middle-class activists and intellectuals as a protest against decades of autocracy. Despite his reputation as an inflexible and belligerent personality, Zawahiri has managed to develop loosely affiliated groups around the world that have evolved to lead devastating local insurgency, some of them rooted in riots stemming from the Arab Spring. Huh. Violence has destabilized many countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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But the days of al Qaeda as a direct and hierarchical network of conspiracies that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, were long gone. Instead, the insurgency has returned to its roots in conflicts at the local level, fueled by a mix of local grievances and incitement from international jihadist networks that use social media. The origins of Zawahiri in Islamic extremism go back decades.

The world first heard of him after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Saadat in 1981 when he was in a cage in a courtroom.

“We made our sacrifices and we are still ready for other sacrifices until the victory of Islam”, shouted Zawahiri, dressed in a white tunic, while accused comrades shouted slogans outraged by Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel.

Zawahiri served three years in prison for illegal possession of weapons, but was cleared of the main charges.

A veteran surgeon—a nickname for himself Doctor—Zawahiri moved to Pakistan after his release, where he worked with the Red Crescent to treat wounded Islamic Mujahideen guerrillas in Afghanistan while fighting Soviet forces. During that time he met an emir, Saudi bin Laden, who had joined the Afghan resistance.

Leading Islamic Jihad in Egypt in 1993, Zawahiri was a key figure in the mid-1990s campaign to overthrow the government and create a pure Islamic state. More than 1,200 Egyptians were killed.

The Egyptian authorities cracked down on Islamic Jihad after the attempted assassination of President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in June 1995. Gray in a white turban, Zawahiri responded by ordering an attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in 1995. Two cars laden with explosives smashed the gates of the compound, killing 16 people.

In 1999, an Egyptian military court sentenced Zawahiri to death in absentia. At the time, he was leading the sobriety life of a terrorist after helping bin Laden build al-Qaeda.

A videotape broadcast by Al Jazeera in 2003 showed two men walking up a rocky mountain, an image Western intelligence hoped would provide clues to their whereabouts.

Threat Of Global Jihad

For years it was believed that Zawahiri was hiding on the forbidden border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He took over the leadership of al-Qaeda in 2011 after US Navy personnel killed bin Laden at his base in Pakistan. Since then he has repeatedly called for global jihad, with AK-47s accompanying him during video messages.

In a eulogy to bin Laden, Zawahiri recalled the Saudi-born terrorist’s threat to pursue attacks on the West that “you will not dream of security until we live it as a reality.” And until you leave the Muslim land.”

As it turned out, the rise of the even more adamant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2014-2019 attracted the attention of Western counter-terrorism officials.

Ayman al-Zawahiri: From Cairo doctor to Al Qaeda leader Shift Learning - Latest News Information, Entertainment, Sports, Viral

Zawahiri has often tried to spark passion among Muslims by commenting online on sensitive issues such as US policies in the Middle East or Israel’s actions against Palestinians, but his surrender was seen as lacking bin Laden’s magnetism.

On a practical level, Zawahiri is believed to have been involved in some of al Qaeda’s largest operations, helping to organize the 2001 attacks, when al Qaeda used hijacked planes to kill 3,000 people in the United States. .

He was indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The FBI placed a $25 million bounty on his head on its Most Wanted list.

Prominent Family

The Zawahiri did not leave the Cairo slums, like others attracted to extremist groups that promised a noble cause. Born in 1951 to an important family in Cairo, Zawahiri was the grandson of the Great Imam of Al Azhar, one of Islam’s most important mosques.

Zawahiri grew up in the leafy suburb of Medi, Cairo, a favorite destination for immigrants from the Western countries he invaded. The son of pharmacology professor Zawahiri first embraced Islamic fundamentalism at the age of 15.

He was inspired by the revolutionary ideas of the Egyptian writer Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist who was executed in 1966 on charges of attempting to overthrow the state.

People who studied with Zawahiri at Cairo University’s medical faculty in the 1970s describe a lively young man who went to the movies, listened to music, and joked with his friends.

“He was a completely different person when he came out of jail,” said a doctor who studied with Zawahiri and declined to be named.

In the classroom cage after Sadat was killed during a military parade, Zawahiri, while addressing the international press, said the terrorists had faced severe torture, including floggings and attacks by wild dogs in prison.

“They arrested wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and children in a trial to put psychological pressure on these innocent prisoners,” he said, shooting a stunned man next to himself and the other terrorists.

Prisoners said those conditions made Zawahiri more radical and set him on the path of global jihad.

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