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Former Al-Qaeda Ideologue Exposes Al Zawahiri | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr. Fadl (AKA Sayyid Imam Al Sharif), former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group and former chief ideologue of the al-Qaeda movement reveals in his forthcoming book ‘The Exposure’ new details regarding the terrorists group’s second-in-command, Ayman al zawahiri.

Dr. Fadl, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison in Egypt, has renounced terrorism. He criticized Al Qaeda and Al Zawahri in particular, in his previous book ‘Rationalizing Jihad in Egypt and the World’ which was written from prison, and was published in 2007. Before being imprisoned Dr. Fadl was one of the leading figures of Islamic fundamentalism, and his ideas have influenced Al Qaeda and countless others terrorist groups. His book ‘The Master in Making Preparation (for Jihad)’ is considered a global manifesto for Jihadist groups, and was used as a manual in Al Qaeda training camps.

In his forthcoming book, Dr. Fadl reiterates his criticism, and reveals details regarding his relationship with his former Islamic Jihad colleague, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahri. He reveals that when both men were in Sudan in the early 90s Al Zawahri, who by then had succeeded him to the leadership of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was still sending orders to the group to perform operations in Egypt. Dr. Fadl writes “When I accused him of working for the Sudanese intelligence in Sudan in 1993, I heard these words from his own lips. He said to me that ”he is committed by the Sudanese to carrying out 10 operations in Egypt, and that he received one hundred thousand dollars for this purpose’. These were his words to me, and if he denies them then I will curse him again, for I swear to God that Zawahri told me these words in person, and if you disbelieve me, then may God punish the one of us who is lying’.

As for his experience in Afghanistan, Dr. Fadl writes ‘I discovered that the attention of the Arabs taking part in this Jihad was focused on military matters, while neglecting Islamic Shariaa law. I also noticed that they were fervent and sentimental, but not observant of Islamic doctrine.

The Deputy leader of Al Qaeda, Dr. Ayman Al Zawahri has responded to Dr. Fadl’s criticisms in his new book the ‘Treatise Exonerating the Nation of the Pen and the Sword from the Blemish of Weakness and Fatigue’. ‘The Exoneration’ as it is more commonly known, is a polemic defense by Al Zawahri against his former mentor’s disparagement. The book, which was published by Al Qaeda’s media wing ‘Al Sahab’, is 200 pages long and took 4 months to write. In it Al Zawahri writes that ‘Dr. Fadl’s initiative is an example of what the US intelligence agency wants’ and that not only was ‘Rationalizing Jihad’ written under duress, and incarceration, but also under the direct ‘supervision, guidance, and funding of the Crusader/Zionist campaign’.

Dr Fadl was born in Banu Suwayf in southern Egypt in 1950.He graduated with honors from Cairo University’s College of Medicine in 1970and worked as a resident surgeon at Al-Qasr al-Ayni’s Medical College. He obtained his master’s degree with high honors and became director of the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital in Peshawar. In the wake of the separatist war in Yemen he worked as a volunteer physician at Yemen’s Al-Thawrah Hospital and then worked in Dar al-Shifa Hospital in the city of Ibb south of Sanaa until hewas finally arrested in 2003. Meanwhile he had married a Palestinian woman and had four children. He later married a Yemeni woman and had a daughter with her who is now four years old.

He fled Egypt after Al-Sadat’s assassination in 1981 when he was named as a suspect in the government’s major case against Al-Jihad Organization. He traveled to Pakistan to help treat the wounded and was then appointed director of the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital in Peshawar. He left Pakistan in the wake of the famous campaign of arrests against the Arabs in Peshawar in 1993. He traveled to Sudan, but sensing that the Islamists were being harassed there, he left for Yemen. Yemen extradited him to Egypt in February 2004, putting him and five others who had death sentences passed against them in absentia on board a private aircraft that took off from the freight section at Sanaa Airport.

In April 1999 an Egyptian military tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment in connection with the returnees from Albania case even though he had never visited Albania.