Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, was released from an Egyptian prison earlier this week. He was imprisoned in Egypt in 1999, but released following the uprisings in 2011. He quickly became a prolific advocate for al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology. Along with other al Qaeda-linked jihadists, he helped orchestrate the protest outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012.
A video confession aired during today’s press conference had one of the Ansar al Sharia members saying he had been tasked by Abu Abdullah of Ansar Jerusalem to form the new group.
According to the group, its fighters targeted 28 security personnel in three of Egypt’s governorates. A group under the same name appeared in early March with a founding statement.
Testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security on al Qaeda’s network in Egypt and the threat it poses to the US
A group calling itself Ansar al Sharia Egypt has announced its formation in the Sinai and has threatened violence in the wake of recent events. It is not clear if the organization is truly a new front, or simply a covert part of an already established group with the same name.
Ansar al Sharia Egypt posted a letter in June from Tariq Abu-al-Azm, a former major in the Egyptian air force who is accused of being part of the Nasr City cell. The cell has multiple ties to al Qaeda.
Mohammed al Zawahiri and two of his Egyptian jihadist allies have issued a statement criticizing the Democratic Jihad Party. “Jihad and Democracy are opposites and don’t mix,” they say.
Jihadist social media sites are asking supporters to pray for Abdullah Azzam al Qahtani, an al Qaeda in Iraq leader who admittedly proposed an attack against the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Al Qahtani, the sites say, was scheduled to be executed inside Iraq this week.