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 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Edgar Froese dead: Tangerine Dream founder dies aged 70
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...