Ayman al-Zawahiri

Article

August 13, 2022

Ayman al-Zawahiri also referred to as Ayman al-Zawahiri (June 19, 1951 Egypt – July 31, 2022 Kabul) was a physician and Islamic theologian, from 2011 until his death in 2022, the leader of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda. He became the leader of the organization after the death of the previous leader, Osama bin Laden.

Youth

He was born in the then Kingdom of Egypt in the family of a professor of pharmacology. He excelled at school, loved poetry and hated violent sports, which he considered "inhumane". He studied medicine at Cairo University, graduating in 1974. He then served three years as a surgeon in the Egyptian army, then set up a clinic with his parents in Maadi. In 1978, he also received a master's degree in surgery. He spoke Arabic, English, and French. During his studies, he became involved in the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1970s he moved to the more radical Islamic Jihad movement.

Militant Activity

In 1981, he was arrested and imprisoned in connection with the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. However, since it was not possible to convict Zavahrí of his participation, he was released. In the 1980s, he traveled to Afghanistan, where he participated in the fighting against the Soviet occupation troops. There he met Osama bin Laden, whom he helped establish al-Qaeda. In 1990, he returned to Egypt, where he tried to transfer the experience from Afghanistan to Islamic Jihad. In 1996, he was arrested in Russia on suspicion of being involved in the resistance of Chechen Muslim separatists against the Russian Federation. Even here he failed to prove anything, so he was released. In 1997, he was accused of being responsible for the massacre of 62 tourists in the Egyptian city of Luxor. For this he was sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian military court in 1999. In 2001, from his headquarters in Kosovo or Albania, he directed the terrorist actions of the Albanian National Liberation Army, in which the fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda also participated, against the legitimate Macedonian government.

After the 9/11 terrorist attack

On September 25 of that year, an Interpol warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the United States Department of State offered a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture. As a member of Al-Qaeda, worldwide sanctions were imposed on him by the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee. After the American invasion of Iraq, Aymán Zawahri was one of the organizers of the resistance against the American occupation of Iraq. After the American invasion of Afghanistan, it was claimed that he was killed along with his wife and children as a result of the bombing of the cave complexes, which was not confirmed. On 13 January 2006, the CIA, assisted by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, launched a raid on the Pakistani village of Damadola near the Afghan border, where they believed Zawahiri was located. The airstrike was supposed to kill Zawahiri, which was televised around the world in the following days. Many victims of the raid were killed without being identified. Anonymous United States government officials claimed that some terrorists were killed. The tribal government of the Bajaur region confirmed that at least four terrorists were among the dead. After this airstrike, anti-American protests broke out across the country, to which the Pakistani government responded by condemning the American attack and the loss of innocent lives. On January 30, 2006, a new video was released showing an unharmed Zaváhiri. The video discussed the raid but did not reveal whether or not he was present in the village at the time. In early September 2008, the Pakistani military claimed a near-capture in the Mohmand region of northwestern Pakistan. Later, however, Pakistani authorities confirmed that he was not