Montasser el-Zayat

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Montasser el-Zayat
Nationality Egypt
Occupation lawyer

Montasser el-Zayat is an Egyptian lawyer.

Among the reasons he is noteworthy is that he is an acquaintance of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has spoken about his character.[1] El-Zayat shared a prison cell with al-Zarahiri in the 1980s. The Washington Post reported that El-Zayat has said of al-Zawahiri" ""He always thinks he is right, even if he is alone."

Following the assassination of Anwar Sadat El-Zayat was imprisoned, along with many other Egyptians.who were believed to be members of Islamic Jihad.[2] El-Zayat was jailed for three years.

On December 1 2002 the Pittsburgh Tribune reported that el-Zayat: "accused the United States of "invading the region and imposing its policies — it wants to interfere with our life, and it wants us to modify our religious curriculum. ...This is why the people approved of what happened in Kuwait, Yemen and Bali,[2]"

El-Zayat is the lawyer for Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr an Egyptian cleric, who was living in exile in Italy, who was controversially kidnapped by a US "snatch team"<[3]..


  1. Keeping Al-Qaeda in His Grip: Al-Zawahiri Presses Ideology, Deepens Rifts Among Islamic Radicals, Washington Post, April 16 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 U.S. policies causing Islamists rage, some say, Pittsburg Tribune, December 1 2002
  3. Abducted imam seeks return to Italy, ANSA, April 8 2006