Ayman al-Zawahiri

Article

August 11, 2022

Áyman Muhámmad Rabi Az-Zavahahiri (Arab. أيمuss محمد ويlf-IPA: ˈʔæjmæn mæˈħæmæd ɾˤɑˈbiːʕ ezzˤɑˈwɑihɾi; June 19, 1951, Cairo, July 31, 2022, Kabul, 2nd Lideristani) Al-Qaeda (from 2011 to 2022), physician (ophthalmic surgeon), Islamic theologian (and jihad theorist), writer.

Biography

Al-Zawahiri was born on June 19, 1951, in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, into an upper-middle class family of doctors and scientists. His father was a professor of pharmacology at the Medical Institute of Cairo University, and his grandfather, Rabia al-Zawahiri, was the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, a major center for religious studies. From an early age, al-Zawahiri admired the radical writings of Syed Qutb, an Egyptian Islamist who taught that Arab regimes were "infidels" and should be replaced by Islamic rule. In the 1970s, when he received his medical degree as a surgeon, al-Zawahiri became close to the militants. He merged his paramilitary cell with others to form the Islamic Jihad group and began trying to infiltrate the army - at one point even storing weapons in his private clinic. This was followed by the assassination in 1981 of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by Islamic Jihad militants. The assassination was carried out by another cell in the group, and al-Zawahiri wrote that he learned of the plot only hours before the assassination. But he was arrested along with hundreds of other militants and served three years in prison. He was reportedly severely tortured during his imprisonment, which some say made him a more violent radical. After his release in 1984, al-Zawahiri returned to Afghanistan and joined Arab militants from across the Middle East who fought alongside Afghans against the Soviet army during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He supported bin Laden, who became a powerful figure thanks to the financial support of the Mujahideen. Al-Zawahiri followed bin Laden to his new base in Sudan, and from there led the newly assembled Islamic Jihad in a vicious campaign of bombings aimed at overthrowing the US-allied Egyptian government. During the most daring attack Jihad and other battles