HomeWorldDefined | Who was al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri?

Defined | Who was al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri?

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How was Zawahiri’s stint as chief of the terrorist outfit completely different from that of his predecessor Osama bin Laden?

How was Zawahiri’s stint as chief of the terrorist outfit completely different from that of his predecessor Osama bin Laden?
The story to this point: Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan on Sunday, President Joe Biden introduced on Monday. U.S. intelligence brokers had tracked down the secure home in downtown Kabul the place Zawahiri was hiding earlier this 12 months and had been watching him ever since to ascertain a sample of life. An American drone fired two hellfire missiles at Zawahiri when he appeared within the balcony of the secure home on Sunday morning (native time), killing him immediately, in keeping with U.S. officers.
Who was Zawahiri?
Born right into a rich household of medical professionals in 1951, a 12 months earlier than the Officers Revolution introduced down the monarchy, Zawahiri grew up in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s secular Egypt. This was additionally a interval when Egypt noticed intense ideological and violent clashes between the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and Nasser’s trendy secular socialist state. Sayyid Qutb, a Brotherhood-associated cleric, emerged as one of many strongest Islamist critics of the Nasser period. Qutb was hanged in 1966, however his writings would proceed to encourage and radicalise generations of Muslims. Based on Qutb, the world was divided into Islam and jahiliya (ignorance) and he referred to as for the liberation for the Muslim group “from the false legal guidelines and customs that aren’t even remotely associated to Islamic teachings” by means of jihad. Zawahiri was one of many Egyptian children who was impressed by the revolutionary Islamism of Qutb. However Nasser had pushed the Muslim Brotherhood underground. Most of its leaders had been behind bars. Zawahiri, already a member of the Brotherhood, had shaped an underground Islamist cell within the Sixties whose predominant purpose was to overthrow the federal government and set up an Islamist state.A graduate in medication from Cairo College, Zawahiri, who spoke Arabic, English and French, labored briefly within the Egyptian Military as a physician, earlier than opening a clinic in Maadi, south of Cairo. He continued his underground actions whereas practising within the clinic. Within the late Nineteen Seventies, his Islamist cell merged with different radical models to kind the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Within the early Eighties, Zawahiri travelled to Peshawar to work with the Pink Crescent Society, the Islamic arm of the Pink Cross that was concerned in treating the wounded Afghan Mujahideen who had been combating the Soviets throughout the Khyber Cross in Afghanistan. It was throughout this era Zawahiri met Osama bin Laden, the younger Saudi billionaire who was operating a camp for the Mujahideen in Pakistan. That was the start of a long-lasting relationship which might see each males planning and executing a number of the largest terrorist assaults on the planet, together with the September 11, 2001 assault within the U.S.
What was his function in al-Qaeda?
By the point the Soviet troops had been compelled to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989, Bin Laden had established a military of Mujahideen below his command and based al-Qaeda. He was initially provided a hero’s welcome in Saudi Arabia. However when the Saudis discovered him as a risk and expelled him, he moved to Sudan, the place dictator Omar Bashir welcomed him. Zawahiri, then chief of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, adopted Bin Laden to Sudan, the place they had been operating coaching camps for jihadists. When Bin Laden moved again to Afghanistan within the mid-Nineties, Zawahiri adopted him once more. It was within the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan that Bin Laden constructed al-Qaeda because the world’s most potent terrorist equipment. In February 1998, Bin Laden, Zawahiri and their co-jihadists issued a ‘fatwa’ within the identify of the World Islamic Entrance. Within the edict, titled ‘Jihad in opposition to Jews and Crusaders’, they mentioned the U.S., by means of its occupation of Muslim lands “has declared warfare on Allah, his Messenger and the Muslims”. It mentioned “the ruling to kill the Individuals and their allies is a person responsibility of each Muslim”. Six months after the fatwa was introduced, al-Qaeda bombed American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 folks. Zawahiri was believed to have performed a essential function within the planning of this bombing and plenty of extra assaults to come back. There have been conflicting accounts on when precisely he merged the Egyptian Islamic Jihad with al-Qaeda. Some say it was in 1998, whereas another accounts say it was in 2001, just a few months forward of the September 11 assaults. Ever because the merger, which created Qaeda al-Jihad, Zawahiri has been the second-in-command of the outfit. He went into hiding, together with Bin Laden, in 2001 when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 assaults. After Bin Laden was killed in 2011 by an American commando raid in Pakistan’s Abottabad, Zawahiri was the apparent option to be the ‘emir’ of the terrorist group.
What’s his legacy as al-Qaeda chief?
When Zawahiri grew to become the ‘emir’, al-Qaeda had already been considerably weakened. They misplaced their secure haven in Afghanistan. Each the management and the foot troopers had been pushed underground. Osama Bin Laden was killed. And Arab Spring protests had been rocking Muslim international locations that introduced down well-entrenched regimes of dictators reminiscent of Zainul Abidin Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. In his youth, Zawahiri wished to convey down the Egyptian regime by means of jihad, however in 2011, he noticed avenue protests reaching that purpose. Many consultants have identified that Zawahiri lacked the charisma of Bin Laden. His authority because the terrorist-in-chief was examined when a pacesetter of an al-Qaeda department, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, introduced a brand new organisation referred to as the Islamic State. Zawahiri refused to recognise the Islamic State, resulting in clashes between Jabhat al-Nusra, which was the al-Qaeda arm in Syria, and the Islamic State, which was the al-Qaeda in Iraq. It marked a fitna (cut up) within the world jihadist panorama and the Islamic State shortly rose as a proto-state — what they referred to as a brand new Caliphate — capturing and holding territories from japanese Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Zawahiri’s technique was to retain al-Qaeda as a decentralised community of autonomous terror franchises. He exploited the Syrian civil warfare to construct a Qaeda community within the nation, the newest avatar of which is presently controlling Syria’s Idlib. He additionally exploited the vacuum created by the autumn of Mohammar Gaddafi in Libya to strengthen al-Qaeda Africa. His focus was on survival. The Islamic State misplaced the territories it had and suffered big setbacks. However al-Qaeda nonetheless operates by means of its franchisees.
What’s the present state of al-Qaeda?
Al-Qaeda right now is a special beast from what it was below Osama bin Laden. There are completely different branches reminiscent of al-Qaeda within the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda within the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabab and al-Qaeda within the Sinai Peninsula and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Idlib). These teams are ideologically related to the Salafi-Jihadist beliefs of the unique al-Qaeda based by Bin Laden, whose predominant purpose is to uproot the “un-Islamic” governance fashions by means of jihad and set up an emirate (on the traces of the teachings of Sayyid Qutb). Most of them additionally use the al-Qaeda model. However they’ve their very own management and ways within the geographies they function in. This has made it troublesome for any centralised navy motion to defeat al-Qaeda. Zawahiri’s killing is clearly a setback to the al-Qaeda model. However it’s to be seen whether or not his demise would weaken the operations of the completely different al-Qaeda networks which have unfold throughout continents.
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan on Sunday, President Joe Biden introduced. He was wished for planning and executing a number of the largest terrorist assaults on the planet, together with the 9/11 assaults within the U.S.
Zawahiri was impressed by the revolutionary Islamism of Sayyid Qutb. The teachings of Sayyid Qutb, a Brotherhood-associated cleric impressed and radicalised generations of Muslims. Qutb referred to as for the liberation of the Muslim group “from the false legal guidelines and customs that aren’t even remotely associated to Islamic teachings” by means of jihad.
Zawahiri’s technique as chief of al-Qaeda was to retain it as a decentralised community of autonomous terror franchises. He exploited the Syrian civil warfare to construct an al-Qaeda community within the nation and in addition exploited the vacuum created by the autumn of Mohammar Gaddafi in Libya to strengthen al-Qaeda Africa. His focus was on survival.

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