Al Qaeda in Sudan launches ‘student wing’ at University of Khartoum

Al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Niles, an al Qaeda affiliate in Sudan, has been in the press the past several weeks after years of toiling in silence. Last month, a video was released that showed the operatives who assassinated a US diplomat and his driver on New Years Day in 2008, and last week, the US government added two of the al Qaeda operatives behind the assassination to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. And now, the terror group launched a “student wing” at the University of Khartoum. From the Sudan Tribune:

The organization Al-Qaeda in Sudan announced yesterday the birth of its student wing in the University of Khartoum in a new sign of growing extremist influence in the country.

The Main Street in Al-Wasat complex in Khartoum witnessed a public address on Wednesday afternoon by what appeared to be Al-Qaeda sympathizers who spoke on “The preceding Jihad in the Land of Two Niles”.

The speakers said they disagree with the ultra-conservative Ansar al-Sunna Salafist group in Sudan but they do not consider them blasphemous. They also expressed readiness to conduct a dialogue with secularists.

They denied that Al-Qaeda group is being pursued by the Sudanese security and rejected their labeling as extremists saying that the US is behind this adding that they adhere to the Quran and Sunna of the Prophet.

Sudan has a long history of supporting al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, other al Qaeda leaders, and a host of fighters had their base in the country until they were kicked out by the government after US pressure. Sudanese jihadists continue to operate in multiple theaters, including in nearby Somalia.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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