36. What author’s philosophical memoir (pictured), received international attention when it was first released in December 2001?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #36
Ayman Al Zawahiri completed Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, dubbed the “al-Qaeda Manifesto,” in the fall of 2001, while sheltered in an Afghanistan cave. The manuscript was delivered to the Saudi newpaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat for publication.
Zawahiri hails from a prominent Egyptian family of doctors, lawyers, and scholars. His grandfather was president of Cairo University and his great-uncle was Grand Imam of Al Azhar University. Zawahiri was himself a bright student, earning a medical degree in 1974.
A staunch Islamist, Zawahiri’s radicalization accelerated after his arrest and torture in 1981 for his membership in Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the group found responsible for assassinating Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Under Zawahiri’s leadership, the network was later implicated in an infamous terrorist attack in Luxor, Egypt in 1997, and bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia for his role.
In 1998 Islamic Jihad merged with al-Qaeda and Zawahiri assumed the position of the organization’s ideological leader. He heads the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.
- The Man Behind Bin Laden, The New Yorker
- Profile: Ayman al-Zawahri, BBC News
- Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s Knights under the Prophet’s Banner: the al-Qaeda Manifesto, Military Review
- New “Second Printing/Edition” of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Magnum Opus, Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, Views from the Occident
- Massacre in Luxor, BBC News