Bin Laden spiritual adviser may be the senior partner
Friday 05 August 2005
Zawahiri, a joint signatory to Bin Laden's 1998 fatwa calling for attacks on the US, has regularly appeared as spokesman for al-Qa'ida since merging his Islamic Jihad with the terror network in the mid- 1990s.
Known as an astute organiser and military planner, the Egyptian eye surgeon, 54, is credited with being the "mastermind" behind the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US. He has been sentenced in Egypt - in absentia - to death and has a US federal bounty on his head of $25m (£14.4m).
The radical cleric graduated from a bit-part player in Egypt's militant Islamic Gamaa organisation into the leader of Islamic Jihad during the mid-1980s. Several experts believe that Zawahiri is the senior partner in his relationship with the younger Bin Laden.
The scion of an elite Egyptian family of doctors and professionals, he graduated from medical school in Cairo in 1974. He is believed to have been radicalised at medical school, where he had links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and was among a number of suspected militants imprisoned and tortured by Egyptian authorities following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
He spent time in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan after release and was briefly detained by the Russians for stirring resistance in Dagestan. He is believed to have linked up with the Saudi leader of al-Qa'ida while the pair were living in Khartoum, Sudan. His last confirmed sighting was in Khost, Afghanistan, four years ago, where his wife and children were reportedly killed in a US air strike in November 2001.
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...