Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – The discovery of an alleged plot to bomb transatlantic flights between London and the United States has reawakened the conflict between the Al-Jama’ah Islamiyah and al Qaeda.
Last week, Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in-commanded, announced that several members of the Egyptian group have joined forces with Osama bin Laden’s men, a claim which the Al-Jama’ah Islamiyah denies.
Senior leaders in the Al-Jama’ah Islamiyah emphasized that al Zawahiri’s claims were part of a wider plan to implicate their group and insinuate that it has backed down on its plan to halt violence, which it announced in 1997, thereby damaging the trust it had built with the Egyptian government. This became clear when the plot to bomb airlines in Britain was foiled, they added.
On the other hand, the Al-Jama’ah Islamiyah said Hezbollah has strong links with Iran, which provides it with military aid, and with Syria, in a statement published on the internet on Sunday. It pointed out that the Iranian regime has its own agenda and was playing a no longer secret role in facilitating the entry of US forces into Iraq.
The Egyptian group refused to compare the situation in Lebanon to that in Iraq and pointed out that the Lebanese problem was complex because of the country’s make-up and history,.
The statement also said that the steadfastness of the people of Lebanon strengthened the resistance in the Palestinian territories and Hezbollah’s success in fighting the advancing Israeli army shattered the myth of an invincible Israeli military.
Hezbollah, it concluded, has achieved a miracle in southern Lebanon.