Al-Qaeda's New Battle-Hardened, Difficult Leader

(Investigative Project on Terrorism) In the wake of Osama bin Laden's demise, his likely successor is his long-time deputy and collaborator, Egyptian jihadist Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri was arrested by the Egyptian government in 1996 for forming an underground Muslim Brotherhood cell, and was among scores of militants arrested and tried in connection with Sadat's October 1981 assassination. He left Egypt in 1985 and went to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he treated mujahedeen fighting the Soviets. That was where he met Osama bin Laden, and the two became close - linked together as "Afghan Arabs." In 1998, he joined bin Laden in announcing the World Islamic Front's "Statement Urging Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders." The men issued a fatwa declaring: "We with God's help, call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill Americans and plunder their money wherever they find it."

2011-05-04 00:00:00

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