Ayman al-Zawahiri inspired Bin Laden to launch large-scale US attack

Ayman al-Zawahiri inspired Bin Laden to launch large-scale US attack

August 2, 2022

Fanatical ideologue whose new brand of terror prized massacring innocents: Ayman al-Zawahiri inspired Bin Laden to attack the US and wanted Al-Qaeda to get NUCLEAR weapons to incinerate infidels

  • Osama bin Laden’s No2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed in a US drone strike
  • The 71-year-old Egyptian Al-Qaeda leader had a $25million bounty on his head
  • He was a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States
  • He championed large-scale attacks and the indiscriminate killing of civilians
  • The surgeon wanted Al-Qaeda to posses biological and nuclear weapons

Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has been killed by a CIA drone strike, led a new brand of terror that prized massacring innocents, having inspired the former leader to gather nuclear and biological weapons.

Al-Zawahiri, who took over Al-Qaeda after Bin Laden’s death in 2011, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan following the US strike.

The terrorist leader is said to have guided al-Qaeda to become one of the biggest radical movements, having been identified as a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

At 15, the Egyptian spearheaded his own militant group, Jamaat al-Jihad, that championed large-scale attacks and the murder of civilians.

As it grew, he later merged it with al-Qaeda in the 1990s, bringing this focus on indiscriminate killing to the terrorist group. 

The 71-year-old was on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist list, having declared the US ‘the far enemy’, with a $25 million reward for information leading directly to him.

The surgeon, also called The Doctor, led a terrorist lab developing biological weapons and was the force behind al-Qaeda’s ambition to gain nuclear weapons.

Al Quaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in a recorded message where he threatened that attacks on London would continue as a result of Tony Blair’s policies in the middle east

Al-Zawahiri was Bin Laden’s No 2 in Al-Qaeda, the radical jihadist network once led by the Saudi millionaire. The two are seen above in this September 2006 file photo

‘To kill Americans and their allies — civilian and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in every country in which it is possible to do it, al-Zawahiri wrote in a 1998 manifesto. 

Three years later, he helped to plan the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

As part of this, al-Zawahiri was planned follow-on attacks across the US, and started a biological weapons program in Afghanistan. He sent group disciples out to find lethal strains of anthrax and scientists that would engage with his plans. 

However the Egyptian abandoned the biological weapons laboratory after a US-backed military effort forced Taliban allies of al-Qaeda out of power in Afghanistan.

Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed by a CIA drone strike, after the FBI put a $25million bounty on the al-Qaeda leader’s head. 

The 71-year-old was on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist list, with a $25 million reward for information leading directly to him

His own militant group began when he was 15, having organised an underground cell of friends to overthrow Egypt’s Islamic theocracy and government, after it executed Qutb in 1966.

This cell grew to become the Jihad Group, which plotted the assassination of Eqyptian leaders in the early 1980s, and was also involved in the killing of the country’s president, Anwar Sadat on Octover 6, 1981, the Washington Post reported.

‘We have sacrificed and we are still ready for more sacrifices until the victory of Islam,’ he shouted in the courtroom. 

He was briefly jailed for three years for the possession of arms, having been acquitted of the main charges. Later, he claimed to have been tortured while behind bars. After his release, he began touring South Asia and became the personal doctor to Bin Laden.

In 1997, while living in Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri was involved in planning an attack on Egyptian tourists visiting the Luxor ruins.

Al-Zawahri is pictured on an al-Qaeda who’s who published in 2005. Osama bin Laden is pictured top-left, with al-Zawahri to his right

A five-year-old British girl was one of the 62 who died during the 45-minute killing rampage, the Washington Post reported.

The next year, al-Zawahiri was indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed hundreds of people. 

Both he and bin Laden escaped U.S. forces in Afghanistan in late 2001, and was thought to have fled to Pakistan. 

He took over Al-Qaeda in 2011, when bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan. 

A succession of Al-Zawahiri deputies were also killed after bin Laden’s death, weakening his international coordination efforts.

Al-Zawahiri appeared in a video last year marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, months after rumours spread that he was dead

Al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts had been a mystery, with rumours spreading since late 2020 that he had died from illness.

But he appeared in a new video in April, where he denounced the ‘enemies of Islam’, after a school in India banned the wearing of the hijab. 

In a nine-minute video released by As-Sahab Media, al-Qaeda’s official media wing, al-Zawahiri praised Muslim student Muskan Khan after she wore the Islamic scarf at a school in Karnataka state, governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to translations provided by counter-terror experts on Twitter, including the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors jihadist websites, the Egyptian-born doctor accused ‘the pagan Hindu democracy of India’ of seeking to ‘oppress Muslims’.

Al-Zawahiri also decried France, Holland, and Switzerland, as well as Egypt and Morocco, as ‘enemies of Islam’ for their anti-hijab policies.

He further criticised the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh, accusing them of defending ‘the very enemies that have empowered them to fight us’. 

His death will be formally announced by President Joe Biden in an address to the nation from the White House at 7:30 pm ET.

‘Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties,’ a senior administration official confirmed. 

The drone attack is the first known over-the-horizon strike by the United States on an al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan since American forces withdrew from the country on August 31, 2021. 

US officials did not clarify where in Afghanistan the strike took place. 

The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN were among outlets reporting the target’s identity, citing unidentified sources. 

On Saturday morning the Afghan interior ministry denied reports circulating on social media of a drone strike in Kabul, stating that a rocket struck ‘an empty house’ in the capital, causing no casualties.

Early Tuesday in Kabul, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an ‘aerial attack’ was carried out on a residence in the Sherpur area of the city.

‘The nature of the incident was not revealed at first. The security and intelligence agencies of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones,’ his tweet said.

Somalis hold a poster as they demonstrate against the Al Shebab Somali rebel group’s announcement that they will officially join the Al Qaeda Islamic militant network. Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri officially announced the union between the two terror groups in 2012

In recent months the Taliban have largely barred media from covering the aftermath of security incidents and frequently deny or downplay any casualties. 

Al-Zawahiri last appeared in a video last year marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, months after rumours spread that he was dead.

In that video, he proclaimed ‘Jerusalem will never be Judaized’ and praised al-Qaeda attacks – including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January 2021. SITE said al-Zawahiri also noted the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan 20 years after the invasion.

In recent years, al-Qaeda has faced competition in jihadi circles from its rival, the Islamic State group. IS rose to prominence by seizing large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a ‘caliphate’ and extending affiliates to multiple countries across the region.

IS’s physical ‘caliphate’ was crushed in Iraq and Syria, though its militants are still active and carrying out attacks.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of IS, was killed by US special forces in a raid in northwestern Syria in October 2019.

Al-Zawahiri was born in Egypt in 1951 and worked as a surgeon. He moved to Jeddah in the 1980s, where he met bin Laden. He became his personal advisor and physician.

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