America's War On Terrorism

Iyman El-Zawahiri: The Terror mastermind of Al-Qaeda 

By Adel Darwish.
London - 15 Feb 2002 

The Mastermind behind The Islamists terror campaign is  Egyptian born physician  Iyman El-Zawahiri ( El-Zawahiri ), reportedly  recruited Osama Bin Laden himself - the world number one wanted terrorist- to the cause of a global  Islamic revolution against the West, was involved in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, lived in Europe and toured the United States in 1995 raising funds for terrorist activities, according to intelligence reports.

Dr el-Zawahiri, a master of disguise who travelled  on French, Swiss, Dutch, Saudi, Pakistani and Egyptian false passport, with many names and faces that he is nicknamed ' Carols of the Islam' - after Carols the Jackal who was on the run for 25 years. He became the leader of  Harakt al-Jihad al-Islami  (the Movement for Islamic Sacred Action MIA) - known incorrectly
by the media as Jihad - in 1991, and is now the second man in Al-Qaeda  after its 1998 union with a disaffect section of MIA.

Dr Zawahiri , severed a three year sentence in Egypt after he was found guilty by a Cairo court in 1982 for conspiracy to murder in planning the assassination of President Sadat a year earlier, He lived for a while in Europe, in Germany, Yugoslavia and possibly in Britain under a false name after participating in the Bosnia war in the 1990, according to three intelligence agencies.

Ironically, the British governments turned down requests by Egypt's Intelligence Service  Mukhabarat and  State Security Intelligence  Mabaheth, to extradite a number of suspected terrorists, including Adil Abdel-Maguide who knew, in the early 90's of the where of Dr Zawahiri  whom they believed to be living in Britain, at the time, under a false identity.

''The Germans were not too cooperative either,'' said an Egyptian intelligence source, '' at a time when Germany was the main base for Bin Laden's al-Qaedah organisation.''

The Egyptians were angry, as one of the requests coincided with Mukhabart's agents arriving in London to assist their British counterpart in their search for terrorists who exploded a bomb outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington in 1993. ' The [British] Foreign Office refusal was arrogant and insulting,' one Egyptian agent told MideastNews , ' they dismissingly  said
Britain was a democracy and the [ wanted] Islamists broke no British laws.''

Both Scotland yard and MI6 at the time, insisted that Dr Zawahiri  was not in Britain but ' somewhere else in Europe' adding that Mr Abdel-Maguid, who, ironically, established an advisory  centre on human rights abuse in London ,  broke no English laws.

A  MIA representative in Britain, Mr Abdel Maguid advertised a conference in 1994 for the movement in Switzerland to be addressed by Dr Zawahiri , sending intelligence services on a wild goose chance, while the disguised doctor made his way to Yemen, where some of Osama Bin Laden training camps were located.  It was then the first contact between him and Iraqi intelligence officers offering money and haven to the group in exchange for carrying out
operation on behalf of Saddam Hussein and some Iraqi presence in Afghanistan. Other meeting with Iraqi agents took place in Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and in Afghanistan.

In 1995, he managed to travel to the United States under the name Dr Mohammed Abdel Muez where he spent several months  raising funds and meeting Islamic leaders who were not aware of his identity. Some of the funds, according to Egyptian Intelligence files, were used to blow up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad a few months later.

The information, used as evidence, was presented by Khalid Abu-Eldhahab, a prosecution witness in a Cairo trial in 1999 called the case of  '' the Returnee from Albania '' who were Dr Zawahiri  men.

Ironically, neither Mr Bin Laden no Dr Zawahiri  were on the wanted list in the US in 1995.

' I don't believe for one second that the CIA, or MI6 didn't know the movements of Zawahiri  or Bin Laden on those days as they claim, ' said an agent of one Gulf State Intelligence Service, ' They [ CIA & MI6] have been in touch with them since they lived in Jeddah.'  After serving two thirds of his sentence in Egypt in 1985, Dr Zdhwahry moved to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, according to the same agent, who says his agency has been monitoring large donations from big Sheiks and some princes in the Arab Gulf, which led Saudi Arabia to issue a law in 1999, forbidding donations to Islamic charities outside the country except via the government who vets them.
According to same agent, Dr Zawahiri   left Jeddah a year later for Peshawar in Pakistan where he was helped by the CIA to get arms, training and money for his followers to join the Mujahedine -  anti Russian rebels in Afghanistan.

' The CIA where aware of who he was and his involvement in the assassination of President Sadat,' the agent said, ' but they gave him and his men new identities and new passports.' The story was confirmed yesterday by Egyptian intelligence sources.

Dr Zwahiri , a graduate of Cairo Medical school, was born 1951 to an Egyptian aristocratic family, his paternal grandfather was the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar ( head of the Muslim church ) and his maternal grandfather Abdel-Wahab Azzam was Egypt ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.  He already had many contacts in both nations because of his maternal
grandfather, according to his great uncle Mahfouz Azzam.

Named after his grandfather as head of al-Azhar, his name  impressed  Mr Bin Laden, who was just starting to leave playboy image behind - Bin laden was reportedly  very  drunk and behaved so badly in 1985 at a reception held at the Dorchester in Park Lane for a reunion of the graduates of his old ' British' public school, that he was thrown out by the organisers.

But it was Zawahiri , that got Bin Laden to ' see the light ' and drowned  him with books and early writing on Islam. Later, after the end of the Afghan war, Dr Zwahiri persuaded Bin Laden to broaden the fight against '  America and the Jews' by moving to Sudan to fight the Egyptian secular government.
All travelled on false passport provided by ' friendly Gulf government on the CIA advice after Pakistan threw them out' according to on Gulf intelligence service

Dr Zawahiri  is soft spoken, calm and very convincing, according a report by an Egyptian psychotherapists who worked within a programme to rehabilitate a number of former Islamic terrorist, and met Dr Zawahiri  a few times in his jail in south Cairo in 1984. '' He has  calm voice and manner of a teacher who would immediately gain your confidence,' said the psychotherapist's report.

In fact, in one conversation he managed to recruit his younger brother Mohammed, to the cause and sent him to lead a group of Al-Qaedah fighters in Albania who fought both in Bosnia and Kosovo. The brother is now in jail in Egypt, although the Egyptians refused to confirm or deny, but they too insist that both the CIA and British intelligence had full knowledge of Dr
Zawahiri  and his obsession with an International Islamic Movement.

'Dr Zawahiri  cool manners hid behind them a devilish mind of a ruthless killer who would design plans for mass murders, and convince his followers to execute them  with clear conscience,' said the psychotherapist in his report to the Egyptian jail authorities. The psychiatrist thinks it is likely that Dr Zawahiri  was the mastermind who recruited the suicide bombers to fly the aircraft into the World Trade Centre Towers and kill themselves.

He is a cult leader, and ruthlessly liquidated any other leader that would emerge in the group, said the report also indicating that many of his followers lied and sacrificed themselves during the trial to protect him, hence was his light sentence.

''Only in 1998 that the CIA got interested in him,'' said one Egyptian agent, referring to Dr Zawahiri's  and Bin Laden's February 1988 declaring of forming the ' The International Front to Combat Jews and Christians'' .

 The  IFCJC first spectacular deadly terrors attacks were the blowing up of American Embassies in Nairobi and an Dar-es-Salaam in summer 1998.
In 1999 he split, along  with a handful of his faithful followers, from MIA after he refused that Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahaman - who is serving a life sentence for attempting to blow up the World Trade Centre in 1993  in US - should be the leader of the organisation accusing the Sheikh of being '' too ignorant, too emotional and too soft when punishing infidels.''


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