Ayman al-Zawahiri

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Ayman al-Zawahiri (1951-2022), a physician of Egyptian origin, was the deputy leader al-Qaeda, until the death of its founder, Osama bin Laden, in 2011.[1][2][3][4] Al-Zawahiri assumed leadership himself, until his own death, in 2022.[5]

Born into a wealthy medical family, he trained as a pediatrician at al-Azhar University.[1]

In 2001, he produced “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner,” extolling al-Qa’ida’s strategy, which derives from a number of Salafist writers, and (most notably those of Sayyid Qutb) gives his framework of his interpretation of jihad. [6] He is a believer in the theological doctrine of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’‎, rejecting any alliance with other than strict Muslims,[7] and takfir, the destruction of infidels and apostates.

Al-Zawhiri met Osama bin Laden through Abdullah Azzam, in Pakistan.

Al Zawahiri was killed by a missile fired from an American unmanned aerial vehicle, on July 2022.[8][9][10][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Douglas Jehl (2001-09-24). "A Nation Challenged: Heir Apparent; Egyptian Seen As Top Aide And Successor To bin Laden". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/24/world/nation-challenged-heir-apparent-egyptian-seen-top-aide-successor-bin-laden.html. 
  2. "Ayman al-Zawahiri – Rewards For Justice". https://rewardsforjustice.net/rewards/ayman-al-zawahiri/. 
  3. "Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Amends One Entry on Its Sanctions List". United Nations. https://press.un.org/en/2015/sc11902.doc.htm. 
  4. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein (March 2004). "Ayman Al-Zawahiri: The Ideologue of Modern Islamic Militancy". Air University – Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. p. 1. https://media.defense.gov/2019/Apr/11/2002115486/-1/-1/0/21AYMANALZAWAHIRI.PDF. 
  5. J. David Goodman (2011-07-29). "Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s New Leader, Praises Syrian Protesters". New York Times: p. A6. Archived from the original on 2023-03-12. https://web.archive.org/web/20230312041209/https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/world/asia/29zawahri.html. Retrieved 2024-02-14. "In what appeared to be his first video message since succeeding Osama bin Laden as the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri expressed strong support for antigovernment protesters in Syria, claiming that their movement to topple the country’s authoritarian leader was rooted in a wider regional conflict with the United States and Israel." 
  6. Brian Drinkwine (January 26, 2009), "The Serpent in Our Garden: Al-Qa'ida and the Long War", Carlisle Papers, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College , p. 7
  7. Joas Wagemakers (Fall, 2008), "Framing the "threat to Islam": al-wala' wa al-bara' in Salafi discourse", Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2501/is_4_30/ai_n31560557/pg_6/ 
  8. "Al Qaeda Drone Strike Afghanistan: U.S. Drone Strike in Kabul Kills Top Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahri". New York Times (Washington DC). 2022-08-01. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/01/us/al-qaeda-leader-killed?searchResultPosition=2#loss-of-zawahri-is-likely-to-have-little-impact-on-day-to-day-operations-experts-said. Retrieved 2024-02-14. 
  9. Cooper, Helene; Barnes, Julian E.; Schmitt, Eric (August 1, 2022). "Live Updates: U.S. Drone Strike Said to Have Killed Top Qaeda Leader" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/01/us/al-qaeda-strike-us. 
  10. Ward, Alexander; Toosi, Nahal; Seligman, Lara (August 1, 2022). "U.S. kills Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in drone strike" (in en). https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/01/sources-u-s-kills-al-qaeda-leader-ayman-al-zawahri-in-drone-strike-00049089. 
  11. Lee, Matthew; Merchant, Nomaan; Balsamo, Mike (August 1, 2022). "CIA drone strike kills al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan". Associated Press. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/cia-drone-strike-kills-al-qaida-leader-ayman-al-zawahri-in-afghanistan.