Fitzgerald: Whence Ayman Al-Zawahiri?
Hugh Fitzgerald has an especially informative piece up at Jihad Watch on the background and illustrious family history of Al-Qaeda #2 man Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
"Al-Zawahiri does not come from the lower depths, and neither "poverty" nor any of those other off-the-shelf pseudo-explanations will do. He comes from the highest stratum of Egyptian Arab society. He was trained as a surgeon. He comes from a long line of physicians, professors, and others who have made their mark. His great-uncle was Azzam Pasha, the first Secretary-General of the Arab League, serving from 1945 to 1952. It was Azzam Pasha who promised, on the eve of the simultaneous attack by five Arab armies intended to snuff out in the cradle the nascent state of Israel, that the world would witness, in his words, "a massacre the likes of which the world had not seen since the days of the Mongols." That was the promise; that was what the Secretary-General of the Arab League foresaw...
Whether Ayman Al Zawahri left Egypt from the Cairo International Airport or from the backdoor, it is no secret the Azzam clan does not lack men in high places. Unlike the medically-minded Zawahri fraternity, the Azzams include an [indicted] MP, a former governor of Giza and several state counselors and prosecutors. Likewise, the clan is top heavy with senior government administrators and diplomats. Ironically, Egypt's sitting Supreme State Security Court Chief Justice is himself a relation of Ayman Al Zawahri, his natty Maadi villa guarded round the clock lest he become the next victim of a terrorist attack. Several fatal shootings this last decade cost the lives of several members of the judicial and legislation (including the speaker of parliament) as well as sundry police Officers in Upper Egypt and over 70 tourists in Luxor. […]
Source: Amman The Star in English -- Independent pro-establishment weekly newspaper. You can find the article in its entirety, and I recommend reading it all, at http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/ayman.htm.
Posted on 01/31/2006 7:42 AM by Rebecca Bynum