from Cairo doctor to al Qaeda leader By Reuters

© Reuters. SUBMIT PICTURE: Osama bin Laden sits with his advisor Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian connected to the al Qaeda network, throughout an interview with Pakistani reporter Hamid Mir (not visualized) in an image provided by Dawn paper November 10, 2001. Hamid Mir/Ed


DUBAI (Reuters) -Ayman al-Zawahiri was successful Osama bin Laden as al Qaeda leader after years as its primary organiser and strategist, however his absence of charm and competitors from competing militants Islamic State hobbled his capability to influence significant attacks on the West.

Zawahiri, 71, was eliminated in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. President Joe Biden stated on live tv on Monday night. U.S. authorities stated the attack occurred on Sunday in the Afghan capital Kabul.

In the years following bin Laden’s death in 2011, U.S. air campaign eliminated a succession of Zawahiri’s deputies, damaging the veteran Egyptian militant’s capability to collaborate internationally.

He had actually viewed as al Qaeda was efficiently sidelined by the 2011 Arab revolts, released primarily by middle-class activists and intellectuals opposed to years of autocracy.

Despite a track record as an inflexible and combative character, Zawahiri handled to support loosely associated groups around the globe that grew to wage ravaging revolts, a few of them rooted in chaos developing from the Arab Spring. The violence destabilised a variety of nations throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

But al Qaeda’s days as the centrally directed, hierarchical network of plotters that assaulted the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, were long gone. Instead, militancy went back to its roots in local-level disputes, driven by a mix of regional complaints and incitement by multinational jihadi networks utilizing social networks.

Zawahiri’s origins in Islamist militancy returned years.

The very first time the world become aware of him was when he stood in a courtroom cage after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981.

“We have sacrificed and we are still ready for more sacrifices until the victory of Islam,” screamed Zawahiri, using a white bathrobe, as fellow offenders infuriated by Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel shouted mottos.

Zawahiri served a three-year prison term for prohibited arms ownership, however was acquitted of the primary charges.

An experienced cosmetic surgeon – among his pseudonyms was The Doctor – Zawahiri went to Pakistan on his release where he dealt with the Red Crescent dealing with Islamist mujahideen guerrillas injured in Afghanistan combating Soviet forces.

During that duration, he ended up being familiarized with bin Laden, a rich Saudi who had actually signed up with the Afghan resistance.

Taking over the management of Islamic Jihad in Egypt in 1993, Zawahiri was a leading figure in a project in the mid-1990s to topple the federal government and established a perfectionist Islamic state. More than 1,200 Egyptians were eliminated.

Egyptian authorities installed a crackdown on Islamic Jihad after an assassination effort on President Hosni Mubarak in June of 1995 in Addis Ababa. The greying, white-turbaned Zawahiri reacted by purchasing a 1995 attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. Two vehicles filled with dynamites rammed through the substance’s gates, eliminating 16 individuals.

In 1999, an Egyptian military court sentenced Zawahiri to death in absentia. By then he was living the simple life of a militant after assisting Bin Laden to form al Qaeda.

A video aired by Al Jazeera in 2003 revealed the 2 guys strolling on a rocky mountainside – an image that Western intelligence hoped would supply hints on their location.


For years Zawahiri was thought to be concealing along the prohibiting border in between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This year, U.S. authorities determined that Zawahiri’s household – his other half, his child and her kids – had actually transferred to a safe home in Kabul and consequently determined Zawahiri at the exact same place, a senior administration authorities stated.

He was eliminated in a drone attack when he came out on the veranda of your house on Sunday early morning, the authorities stated. No one else was harmed.Zawahiri presumed management of al Qaeda in 2011 after U.S. Navy Seals eliminated bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan. Since then he consistently required worldwide jihad, with an Ak-47 as his side throughout video messages.

In a eulogy for bin Laden, Zawahiri guaranteed to pursue attacks on the West, remembering the Saudi-born militant’s hazard that “you will not dream of security until we live it as a reality and until you leave the lands of the Muslims”.

As it ended up, the development of the much more hardline Islamic State in 2014-2019 in Iraq and Syria drew as much, if not more, attention from Western counter-terrorism authorities.

Zawahiri typically attempted to stir enthusiasms amongst Muslims by commenting online about delicate problems such as U.S. policies in the Middle East or Israeli actions versus Palestinians, however his shipment was viewed as doing not have bin Laden’s magnetism.

On an useful level, Zawahiri is thought to have actually been associated with a few of al Qaeda’s greatest operations, assisting arrange the 2001 attacks, when airliners pirated by al Qaeda were utilized to eliminate 3,000 individuals in the United States.

He was prosecuted for his supposed function in the 1998 battles of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The FBI put a $25 million bounty on his head on its most desired list.


Zawahiri did not emerge from Cairo’s run-down neighborhoods, like others drawn to militant groups who guaranteed a worthy cause. Born in 1951 to a popular Cairo household, Zawahiri was a grand son of the grand imam of Al Azhar, among Islam’s crucial mosques.

Zawahiri was raised in Cairo’s leafy Maadi suburban area, a location favoured by migrants from the Western countries he railed versus. The child of a pharmacology teacher, Zawahiri initially accepted Islamic fundamentalism at the age of 15.

He was motivated by the advanced concepts of Egyptian author Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist performed in 1966 on charges of attempting to topple the state.

People who studied with Zawahiri at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine in the 1970s explain a dynamic boy who went to the movie theater, listened to music and joked with good friends.

“When he came out of prison he was a completely different person,” stated a medical professional who studied with Zawahiri and decreased to be called.

In the courtroom cage after the assassination of Sadat at a military parade, Zawahiri attended to the global press, stating militants had actually struggled with extreme abuse consisting of whippings and attacks by wild canines in jail.

“They arrested the wives, the mothers, the fathers, the sisters and the sons in a trial to put the psychological pressure on these innocent prisoners,” he stated.

Fellow detainees stated those conditions even more radicalised Zawahiri and set him on his course to worldwide jihad.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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