One of the last times al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was on center stage was roughly 40 years back, when the international media captured his rants from a cage at the relative back again of an Egyptian courtroom.

The cameras caught him shouting about the torture he and other prisoners experienced at the hands of Egyptian jailers. He started the group chanting: «We have been Muslims. We are Muslims.»

Zawahiri’s prison time in Egypt not only set him up against the regime there, but marked the beginning of his lifelong hatred of the U also.S.

When he eventually joined forces with Osama bin Laden, he passed that enmity along, but it ended for al-Zawahiri on Sunday local time in Afghanistan after an unmanned U.S drone fired two hellfire missiles at a safe house in Kabul, killing him.

President Biden noted Monday that al-Zawahiri was Osama bin Laden’s deputy during 9/11 and that he was «deeply mixed up in planning.»

«For decades he was the mastermind behind attacks against Americans,» Biden added, noting the 2000 USS Cole attack and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Biden also detailed al-Zawahiri’s role leading al-Qaida since bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in 2011, including calling on followers in recent weeks to attack the U.S. and allies.

Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security and Calmness Studies at Georgetown School, said in 2011 that while al-Zawahiri had a reputation for being prickly and dogmatic, he might emerge as an more powerful leader than bin Laden even.

«Unlike bin Laden, he previously the road cred at having been a dyed-in-the-wool terrorist from the right time he was an adolescent,» Hoffman said. «OK, he’s not as telegenic as bin Laden. He lacks bin Laden’s charisma. He does not have bin Laden’s mellifluous voice, but he’s a very powerful figure within the movements still.»

Bin Laden had talked about developing a base for a broader Islamist movement as if it were a mantra. He wanted a business that didn’t need him to survive. And al-Zawahiri has kept it going in the decade since bin Laden’s death.
join us
Follow us
trending music