Egyptian Author of "Jihadists' Bible" Now Says Violence Won't Work

[Guardian-UK] Ian Black - In a prison cell south of Cairo, a repentant Egyptian terrorist leader is putting the finishing touches to a remarkable recantation that undermines the Muslim theological basis for violent jihad. Sayid Imam al-Sharif, 57, was the founder and first emir (commander) of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, whose supporters assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Sharif is famous as the author of the Salafi jihadists' "bible" - Foundations of Preparation for Holy War. He worked with Ayman al-Zawahiri, now Bin Laden's deputy, before being kidnapped in Yemen after 9/11, interrogated by the CIA and extradited to Egypt where he has been serving a life sentence since 2004. Sharif recently gave an electrifying foretaste of his conversion by condemning killings on the basis of nationality and color of skin and the targeting of women and children. Egyptian and Western experts agree that Sharif's shift is both genuine and highly significant.

2007-07-27 01:00:00

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