Accueil arrow Tribunes libres arrow Revisiting Ayman al-Zawahiri : thoughts, ideology and possible hideouts


Farhan Zahid






Farhan Zahid (Pakistan) is a PhD student (Counter Terrorism)
at Vrije University Brussels (Belgium).





Nineteen US foreign mission are closed, staff evacuated from Sana, Yemen and Lahore, Pakistan, travel warnings issued, and security tightened at all missions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Middle East.[1] System is blinking red. The reason is one intercepted communication between Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and his deputy Nasir al-Wahushi[2] (a conference call of 20 other operatives) about executing terrorist attack against foreign interests.[3] The contents of the message were too serious and the threat level was compared with 9/11.[4] The National Security Agency (NSA), the chief US agency for signals intelligence, must have intercepted hundreds of signals everyday related to terrorist communications but involvement of Zawahiri was the issue in focus. All previous statements of US state department and counter terrorism experts relating to declining strengths of Al-Qaeda now sound immature. The havoc the aforementioned intercept is a testimony to the fact that Al-Qaeda is alive and kicking under its new chief al-Zawahiri. Much has been written on Osama bin Laden and his personality and the way he ran Al-Qaeda. After his demise in May 2011, the focus has shifted on Zawahiri and therefore quint-essential to examine his personality and thinking patterns.

Ideology and thoughts

If Al-Qaeda is a body then Ayman al-Zawahiri is its brain. Despite being known as Al-Qaeda chief he is still an enigma to terrorism and Al-Qaeda experts. He chalks out his core ideas in his book Knights under the Prophet's Banner[5] (considered as Al-Qaeda's manifesto[6]) and discusses Al-Qaeda plan for establishing a caliphate comprising over nuclear armed Pakistan along with Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Central Asian Muslim states and then starting a global Islamic reconquesta of all the lost lands from Indonesia to Spain whether in the hands of ‘apostate Muslim rulers' or non-Muslim majority states.[7]

An Egyptian by birth and a trained surgeon by profession, Zawahiri first joined Muslim Brotherhood at an early age and had later left it to form Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ, aka Cairo group or Cairines) in late 1970s.[8] The parent organization Tanzeem ul Jihad was founded in early 1970s and perpetrated the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981.[9] The Egyptian government then launched a crackdown against the organization and hunted down many of its leaders and workers. Zawahiri was also arrested and remained incarcerated for four years. The brutal torture in prison further radicalized his thinking pattern. In the words of Laurence Wright "One of the thinking proposes that America's tragedy on September 11 was in the prisons of Egypt. Human -rights advocates in Cairo argue that torture crated an appetite for revenge, first in Syed Qutib and later in his acolytes, including Ayman al-Zawahiri. The main target of the prisoners' wrath was the secular Egyptian government, but a powerful current of anger was also directed toward the West, which they saw as an enabling force behind the repressive regime. They held the West responsible for corrupting and humiliating the Islamic society."[10]

After getting released in 1983 he left for first Saudi Arabia and later to Peshawar, Pakistan, never to return to his native Egypt. In Pakistan, Zawahiri joined the Afghan Arabs camps as medical practitioner and used his skills in treating wounded Afghan Mujahedin at Peshawar at the camps established by Red Crescent Society (Muslim Red Cross).[11] Bin Laden might know him even before his arrival in Peshawar (probably met in Jeddah) but their relationship started to grow in Peshawar. After the assassination of Abduallah Azzam, mentor of Bin Laden the relationship grew deeper."Each man filled a need in the other. Zawahiri wanted money and contacts, which Bin Laden had in abundance. Bin Laden, an idealist given to causes, sought direction; Zawahiri, a seasoned propagandist, supplied it. They were not friends but allies. Each believed he would use the other, and each was pulled in a direction he never intended to go. The Egyptian had little interest in Afghanistan except as the staging area for the revolution in his own country. He planned to use the Afghan Jihad as an opportunity to rebuild his shattered organization. In Bin Laden, he found a wealthy, charismatic, and pliable sponsor. The young Saudi was a devout Salafist but not much of a political thinker. Until he met Zawahiri, he had never voiced opposition to his own government or other repressive Arab regimes... Each would have to compromise in order to accommodate the goals of the other; as a result, Al-Qaeda would take a unique path, that of global Jihad."[12]

Soon after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, both parted ways, Bin Laden moved back to Saudi Arabia and Zawahiri in search of new safe havens. They would meet again during Bin Laden's years in Sudan in few years. Zawahiri traveled to many countries from Russia[13] to Switzerland and Bosnia where he and his followers were speculated to have fought alongside Bosnian forces.[14] It was Sudan where Bin Laden invited Zawahiri to come over and settle. He along with his family based his organizational setup in Sudan and operated from there for the next few years. In 1994 the Sudanese government ordered him and his followers to leave the country on charges laid by Egyptian government for EIJ's role in an attempted assassination of President Hosni Mubarak. Moreover Zawahiri also ran a parallel court system in Sudan, where he conducted a trial of an Egyptian teenage boy who was cultivated and infiltrated by Egyptian intelligence into the ranks of EIJ. When the boy who was acting as double agent, caught red handed, Zawahiri put him on trial and sentenced him to death. The trial annoyed Sudanese authorities specially the spiritual Islamic leader Hasan al-Turabi who then ordered to expel all of the members of EIJ to immediately leave Sudan.[15]

After rambling around in European and Middle Eastern countries, Zawahiri finally landed in Afghanistan along with handful of EIJ followers. Once again he was received by Bin Laden, who badly needed Zawahiri for his future endeavors. Adding to the treat was Afghanistan under Taliban control more than Zawahiri and presence of his old friend and financer Bin Laden. Together they revived their vanguard Islamist movement and established training camps and with financial aid from sympathizers in Pakistan and Arab countries.

From the beginning the focus of Zawahiri was to topple the Egyptian government and replace it with a theocratic regime based on radical Salafist version of Islamic Sharia laws. In the words of John C Cooley, as he described Zawahiri and his Egyptian network, "He was the self-styled ‘Amir' of an Islamist cell who escaped from Egypt and arrived in Peshawar sometime after the Sadat's assassination in 1981. In 2000, al-Zawahiri, sending orders by fax and computer e-mail to the Islamist insurgents in Egypt from his various places of exile, especially Switzerland, was still one of the most feared men carried on the ‘wanted' lists of President Hosni Mubarak's security and intelligence services."[16]

During his absence from Egypt the terrorist activities of Blind Shaikh Omer Abdul Rahman's organization Islamic Group (Gamma al-Islamia) kept on creating havoc in Egypt. The Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak launched a massive crackdown against the radical Islamists and most of the members of Zawahiri's EIJ were also arrested and the administrative setup of his organization started to vanish. All hopes for Islamic revolution were gone and the only solace he found was in Bin Laden.

In 1998 the first of their joint venture appeared. Bin Laden and Zawahiri jointly signed a Fatwa (religious decree) along with some other leaders of radical Islamist organizations. Other present with them were four senior Islamist leaders: Ayman al-Zawahiri, chief of Egypt's Al-jihad; Abdul Salem Muhammad, chief of a radical Islamist group in Bangladesh; Fazal ur Rahman Khalil, Amir of the radical Pakistani Ansar movement; and the Egyptian Islamist exile Abu Yassir Ahmed Taha, representing the Islamist groups in Arab North Africa.[17]

The Fatwa was about the United States government and its actions against Muslim world, especially in Israel-Palestine crisis and presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia and it was released under the banner of "World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders." It is believed to be drafted by Zawahiri.

- Declaration of Jihad (Holy War) against the United States

- The US military presence in Saudi Arabia

- The US support of Jewish state of Israel

- Killings of Iraqi civilians and children as a result of embargo[18]

The Fatwa went unnoticed, but later that year the simultaneous suicide attacks on US missions in Kenya and Tanzania (august 1998) created quite a stir in the US and western world.

Further more in December 2001, Knights under the Prophet's Banner, published in parts by London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat to propagate his beliefs and ideology. Unlike Bin Laden who presented Al-Qaeda ideology through press conferences, statements, press releases, audio-video messages, and interviews Zawahiri published his concrete ideas through two of his books, one titled The Bitter Harvest published in 1991 and the other was Knights under the Prophet's Banner in 2001. The second one could be termed as his autobiography with the description of events leading to the merger of Egyptian Islamic Jihad with Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda. Zawahiri presented his ideas for the pan-Islamist global Islamic revolution in great detail. Some of his beliefs are:

- The September 11 attacks were just the beginning of war against the "Christians and Jewish infidels" and it would go a long way even after his death

- The ongoing jihad is an ideological war and it's a war with no truce.

- Killing of Americans and their allies at any cost :"Killing them (Americans and Jews) with a single bullet, a stab, or device made up of a popular mix of explosives or hitting them with an iron rod is not impossible. Burn{ing} down their property with Molotov cocktails is not difficult. With the available means, small groups could prove to be a frightening horror for the Americans and Jews."[19]

- He criticized all the other Egyptian Islamist groups and termed their actions without proper planning and coordination even the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and advised other jihadists to learn from their mistakes.[20]

Zawahiri pointed out some of his targets that Al-Qaeda and the global Jihad movement would certainly take on in near future :

- The United Nations (as it's a tool of ‘western crusaders')

- Arab rulers (by this he means all the secular and pro-western Arab regimes and their head of states even Saudi Arabia)

- Multinational organizations (as these are corrupting the Muslim youth and Jewish by virtue of their origin)

- The Internet

- International news and satellite media

- International relief organizations and Non-governmental Organizations (as these were propagating Christianity and involved in proselytizing)

- Stress over use of Takfir and killing anyone opposes the ideology of Jihad movements and sanctioning of killing civilians, women and children

- The spread of movement, particularly amongst the youth.

- The internationalization of "struggle".

- Creation of an Islamic state in the heart of Islamic world, eventually to restore the caliphate and to renew its lost glory.

- The struggle (Jihad) is against the western Jewish-crusaders alliance and cronies, the pro-western Muslim rulers versus Islamist alliance comprising of the Islamist movements in the entire Islamic world.

- The global Jihad leadership must show steadfastness, perseverance, patience and adherence to principles and must serve as an example.

- Rejection of democracy, communism, socialism and any form of nationalism.[21]

In his own words : "I wrote this book to convey the message to our generation and the generations to come. Due to these worrying circumstances and unsettled conditions I may not be able to write later. And I expect it will not be published by a publisher and distributed by a distributor. This book is an attempt to revive the consciousness of the Islamic nation, to tell them about their duties and how the new crusaders hate Muslims and the importance of understanding the differences between our enemies and our friends."

He further stipulated: "[There is] No solution but through Jihad. This awareness is spreading amongst the new community of Islamists. What stand behind this spread of new awareness is the viciousness of the new crusade and Jewish war which treats the Islamic nation at utmost contempt."[22]

According to Yousef H Aboul-Enein, a US military and counter terrorism expert, "Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri is considered by many to be the brains behind Al-Qaeda organization. Understanding Al-Zawahiri is to understand the most violent form of Islamic radicalism, one where there is no negotiation and an uncompromising attitude in waging an offensive jihad on those he has deemed as enemies of his brand of Islamic fundamentalism."[23]

In his monograph on Zawahiri as the ideologue of Islamis radicalism and global jihad movement and the man behind Bin Laden, he traced Zawahiri's radical roots and on grounds he laid the foundations of his radicalism. Aboul-Enein summarized the origins and influences on Zawahiri's political thoughts as:

- Doctrines of Khawarjites of seventh century Islam, (who even condemned the Companions of the Holy Prophet PBUH) and their belief in Takfir (apostasy).

- Political Islamist doctrine as given by controversial Islamic thinker of Taqi ud Din Ibn Tayymiyah (twelfth century).

- Ibn Wahab and Salafi/Wahabi brand of Islam (seventeenth century).

- Writings of Syed Qutb another very controversial figure among Islamic scholars.

- Muslim Brotherhood's pan-Islamist agenda from where he has deviated in later part of his life.

Apart from ideological mindset few personal factors also contributed to its radicalization:

- The torture inflicted upon him in prison by Egyptian state apparatus made him vengeful of the secular Egyptian leadership at a personal level.

- Zawahiri under duress and torture revealed the location of Issam Al-Qamari, a military officer in Egyptian army and a childhood friend of him who was arrested and then executed. Many Egyptian Islamists believed that it was Zawahiri who should have sacrificed his own life rather than revealing about Qamari.

- The propaganda techniques employed by Abdullah Yousaf Azzam in Peshawar, Pakistan was another inspiration for Zawahiri and he later used the same techniques for mobilizing global jihad movement.

- Use of financial support from Bin Laden furthered his own agendas. It is possible that Bin Laden initially had no agenda of his own and it was Zawahiri who indoctrinated him and used him for his own vested interests. A strong possibility exists that the rich Saudi might have had become a puppet in the hands of older and matured Zawahiri because Laden was looking for mentors and before Zawahiri it was Palestinian scholar Abdullah Azzam.[24]

Azzam, a former mentor of Bin Laden cajoled him to come and join him in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Bin Laden factor was too important for both Azzam and Zawahiri for the quest of their finances and connections in the Arab world. Azzam wanted to establish a base in Afghanistan (Al-Qaeda al-Sulba or solid base) and then to start a protracted war against Israel (Azzam was from Jenin, Palestine). On the other hand Zawahiri's objectives were to capitalize this movement for its own organization Tanzeem al-Jihad. There was indeed a clash of interest between the two. Bin Laden was also a bone of contention as both required him for financial support.[25]

Another very important writer on the subject was Muntassir al-Zayat, a former Egyptian Lawyer, who spent some time with him in prison and later wrote a book, Ayman al-Zawahiri as I knew him. Al-Zayat gave more or less the same account of the evolution of Zawahiri from a young radical Islamist to lead al-Qaeda as its operational chief.

Al-Zayat due to personal interactions with Zawahiri during their prison days described the events which led to Zawahiri being more radical and vengeful. For him the crucial events leading to further radicalized were:

- Trial of Syed Qutb and his execution at the hands of secular regime of Jamal Abdul Naseer in late 1960s.

- Defeat of Arab nationalism and Arab-Socialism during Six-Day War of 1967, where Israel inflicted a crushing defeat upon the combined forces of Egypt and Syria.

- Jamal Abdul Naseer's crackdown of activists of Muslim Brotherhood in 1966-67 where 17,000 people were rounded up.

- His time in prison coupled with torture in the period after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in early 1980s.

- His betrayal in revealing the information about the location of his militant friend Issam al-Qamari under torture making him unpopular amongst the Egyptian Islamists that upon his release from prison Zawahiri decided to move to Saudi Arabia and later to Pakistan.[26]  

In the early days of War on Terror, various statements about Bin Laden's death by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai implied with unconfirmed reports that Zawahiri was now in charge of whatever left of Al-Qaeda and running the show. But these theories could not be confirmed on various accounts as Bin Laden's message tapes continued to surface and making it difficult to verify Bin Laden's death in the aftermath of US invasion of Afghanistan.

In his own statements he supported Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan and "Islamic State of Iraq", a newly-emerged organization after the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq.

In an online Q&A in 2008, responding to one of questions, Zawahiri praised Taliban movement and its leader Mullah Omar, Zawahiri said : "Mullah Muhammad Omar-may God protect him-is the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and of the mujahedin who have joined him. Shaykh Usama Bin Laden-may Allah protect him-is one of his soldiers. The leader of the Muslims around the world is the Imam of the Caliphate state-and we strive for its return, like any true Muslim, Allah willing."[27]

While replying to a question about Pakistan and Afghanistan he said: "the area of Afghanistan and Pakistan is currently witnessing an enthusiastic jihadi awakening, which I expect (Allah permitting) will change the prevailing state of affairs in this region, and will have a major impact on the Islamic world as a whole. As for the Christians and their agents in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they have begun their downfall-but mind you, victory will only come with patience."[28]

Zawahiri showed his interest for Islamist movements in Central Asia and responded to one question about the prospects of broader Caliphate, he said: "My response is that the Islamic State of Iraq, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan-and I would add to them the Islamic Emirate of Caucasus-are individual Islamic emirates that do not yield to a single ruler, and may it be that the caliphate state will be soon resurrected. This would encompass the three of them and the rest of the Muslims."[29]

Possible Hideouts

The long search for Bin Laden ended with Abbotabad operation in May 2011. Many of the security experts still believe that Zawahiri is also hiding somewhere in Pakistan. The assumption must be compared and analyzed in light of our knowledge of the personalities of Bin Laden and Zawahiri.

Unlike Bin Laden, Zawahiri is much more experienced in tricks of trade of  ‘jihad business.', definitely has more contacts and is more lethal. During his departure from Peshawar, Pakistan back in late 1980s and then once again from Sudan in 1994, Zawahiri had traveled extensively. On both occasions in Sudan and Afghanistan he joined back Bin Laden.

Today, circumstances are not as  conducive for his traveling as they used to be, but  strong possibility exists that he is traveling and shifting his places of hiding. So where could he be? In authors' view he is in some Arab country where he could easily mingle with local Arabs. Zawahiri is unlikely to repeat mistakes committed by Bin Laden, living in Pakistan with absolutely no communication with locals, being completely dependent on his Pakistani messengers/caretakers (aka the Kuwaiti Brothers) and forced to live in total isolation .With regard to security issues it would be harder to get a clue about Zawahiri's whereabouts. He is a professional terrorist, cunning and carefully weighs his moves. Like Bin Laden he might have had links with Pakistani Islamist terrorist groups but possibly he would never trust them the way Bin Laden did. Bin Laden knew few people in Islamist jihadist world, whereas Zawahiri, because of his experience and extensive traveling knows far more people and places to hide. Bin Laden had no option but to reside in Pakistan and bank upon his Pakistani contacts. Zawahiri is not solely dependent on Pakistanis. He has contacts in central Asian states, Egypt and Maghreb countries and to some extent in Muslim-majority Russian states such as Dagestan and Chechnya.


One of the earliest CIA drone strikes in tribal areas of Pakistan was to target Zawahiri in 2004. The pilot-less drone fired a volley of hell-fire missile at a madrassa in Damadola, Bajuar tribal district suspected of holding an imminent  meeting between Zawahiri and Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) second-in-command Faqir Mohammad.[30] According to later intelligence reports Zawahiri was lucky enough to leave the madrassa few minutes earlier. The event clearly pointed out close relations between Pakistani Taliban groups and Al-Qaeda leader. Since then no report about his whereabouts surfaced in media. Intelligence analysts were pretty sure about Bin Laden's presence somewhere in Pakistan but they have doubts about Zawahiri's presence in Pakistan about Damadola incident. Faqir Mohammad was captured in a raid by Afghan security forces in the eastern Nangarhar province in February 2013[31]. Since then we have not heard any updates about his interrogation which shows either a big Abbotabad-style operation is in the offing in Pakistan or Zawahiri is not in Pakistan.


Exponential growth of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates Ansar-ul Sharia and Islamic Army of Aden show heavy Al-Qaeda presence in Yemen and its tribal areas. Nasir al-Wahusihi, now the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda and head of Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula is also based in Yemen.

Central Asia

There are possibilities that Zawahiri finding safe haven in one of the central Asian Republics. His old relations with Central Asian jihadist groups (now AQ affiliates) such as Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad Union, and Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement allow us to ponder about his whereabouts in Central Asia. Apart from risks emanating from not very efficient Russian intelligence network, the location may allow Zawahiri to stay away from the radar of US intelligence assets in the region.


He could somehow manage to seek refuge in Al-Qaeda's North African branches such as Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or Al-Mourabitoune. Sparsely populated, Algeria could be one destination where mountain regions still provide safe havens to remnants of GIA.






Ayman al-Zawahiri's arrest or death could severely damage if not end Al-Qaeda. His capture would be more than that of already weakened Bin Laden hiding along with his wives in Abbotabad, Pakistan. To take down  Zawahiri would be tougher but a blow more sever than the death of Bin Laden. Bin Laden had only provided a charismatic personality to jihadis all around the world but Zawahiri remains the primary Al-Qaeda ideologue. There were speculations by Canadian Security Intelligence Service that Zawahiri possesses at least two fake passports (Dutch and Swiss) on different names and hence his movements are not restricted.[32]

Zawahiri is a practicing Takfiri and could alter his life style as the situation demands.[33] So what is needed to be done now is, sharing of  likely sketches of him with allied states and develop a higher level of trust with countries involved in GWOT.  Zawahiri would not be living a life  even closer to Bin Laden's. He could even surprise us by living in a non-Muslim majority country, under a new identity and completely different scenario. We could realize that Zawahiri's focus is always on releasing audio messages rather than videos. The hunt for Zawahiri could be as difficult as reaching out Adolf Eichman in Argentine in 1960.

The ultimate objective of the US and allies must be to launch a concerted manhunt despite the financial and human fatigue of 12 years. Ultra radical organizations like Al-Qaeda mostly end by eliminating the leadership and ideologues.[34] As we saw it happening in counter terror campaigns of Sri Lanka, Algeria, Peru and Turkey.

  • [1] "Temporary Post Closures and Worldwide Travel Alert", US Department of State, available at:
  • [2] "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)", National Counter Terrorism Center, Counter Terrorism Calendar 2013
  • [3] Hakim Almasmari, Barbara Starr and Chelsea J. Carter, "Chatter among Al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen led to US warnings", CNN International Edition, August 3, 2013, available at:
  • [4] Ellen Nakashima and Anne Gearan, "Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri is said to have ordered terrorist attacks; US citizens urged to leave Yemen", The Washington Post, August 5, 2013
  • [5] For a detailed survey of Ayman al-Zawahiri's ideology see, Laura Mansfield, "His Own Words: Translation and Analysis of the Writings of Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri", TLG Publicatiosn, New York, 2006
  • [6] Scott Baldauf, "The ‘cave man' and Al-Qaeda", The Christian Science Monitor, October 31, 2001, available at:
  • [7] David Kilcullen, "Counter Insurgency", Oxford University Press, New York, 2010, p 167-170
  • [8] Dr Nimrod Rapheali, "Ayman Muhammad Rabi' Al-Zawahiri", Jewish Virtual Library, March 11, 2003, available at:  
  • [9] Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, "Ayman Al-Zawahiri: The Ideologue of Modern Islamic Militancy", The Counter Proliferation Papers, No 21, US Air University, 2004, p.2-3
  • [10] Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda's Road to 9/11", Penguin Books, 2006, page. 52
  • [11] Assad Elepty, "Bin Laden's Replacement: Ayman al Zawahiri", Pakistan Christian Post, available at: 
  • [12] . Ibid Lawrence: 2006, page.127
  • [13] J R Nyquist, "Ayman Al-Zawahiri's Russia Adventure", Global Analysis, available at:
  • [14] "Context of ‘September 1994-96: Al-Zawahiri manages Bosnian Mujahiddn from Bulgarian Base", History Commons, available at:
  • [15] "Al-Qaeda's Secret Emails: Part Four", Asharq Al-Awsat, June 19, 2005, available at:
  • [16] John. K Cooley "Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism", Pluto Press, Page. 120
  • [17] Ibid, Cooley:2000, page.229
  • [18] Text of Osama Bin Laden's Fatwa, " Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: World Islamic Front Statement, February 23, 1998",   Federation of American Scientist (FAS)
  • [19] Ayman al-Zawahiri, "Knights under the Prophet's Banner",  Al-Sharaq Al-Awsat, London, December 4-10, 2001 and Raphaeli, Dr Nimrod, "Ayman Muhammad Rabi' Al-Zawahiri: The Making of an Arch Terrorist", Terrorism and Political Violence, winter 2002 Edition
  • [20] Dr Nimrod Raphaeli, "Ayman Muhammad Rabi' Al-Zawahiri: The Making of an Arch Terrorist", Terrorism and Political Violence, winter 2002 Edition
  • [21] Ibid, Zawahiri,
  • [22] Ibid, Zawahiri
  • [23] Youssef H Aboul-Enein, "Ayman Al-Zawahiri: The Ideologue of Modern Islamic Militancy", The Counter Proliferation Papers, Future Warfare Series No: 21, USAF Counter Proliferation Centre, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, March 2004
  • [24] Ibid
  • [25] Ibid
  • [26] Muntassir, Al-Zayat, "Ayman Al-Zawahiri As I Knew Him", Dar Misr Al-Mahroosa Publishers, Cairo, 2002
  • [27] Selected Questions and Answers from Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri-Part 2,
  • [28] Ibid
  • [29] Ibid
  • [30] "Al-Qaeda's Remaining Leaders", BBC News, August 6, 2013, available at:
  • [31] Bill Rogio, Former Taliban emir Faqir Mohammad reported captured by Afghan intel", The Long War Journal, February 19, 2013
  • [32] Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, February 22, 2008.
  • [33] At occasions followers of Takfiri doctrines of Salafi/Wahabi origins could adapt to local customs, even those contrary to Islamic, such as drinking wine, eating pork, prostitution, in order to hide their plans and ambitions.
  • [34] For a detailed study of how terrorist organizations end, see Audrey Kurth Cronin, "How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns", Princeton University Press, 2011

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