The 21st Century Phenomenon



The Egyptian Islamic  Jihad originated from the EGYPTIAN Jamaa Islamiya and was formally formed in 1980 from the merger of two clusters of Islamist groups: a group in Cairo led by Muhammad al-Salam Faraj and a group in Upper Egypt led by Karam Zuhdi.

The Egyptian Islamic  Jihad extended from the Egyptian JI because, from their point of view, the Egyptian Jamaa Islamiya was not decisive enough in provoking a large scale popular uprising against the Egyptian regime, who betrayed the Egyptian people and the Islam by recognizing Israel and implementing a peace treaty with the infidel Jews in Israel.

In order to provoke an uprising against the Egyptian regime the Egyptian President Anwar Saadat was assassinated by Egyptian Islamic  Jihad activist, Khalid El-Islambouli, during a military parade on 10/06/1981.  The popular uprising that the Egyptian Islamic  Jihad expected to start did not materialize and the Egyptian regime under Hosni Mubarak recovered very fast.

After the assassination, the Egyptian government succeeded in rounding up most of the members of the Egyptian Islamic  Jihad. Only the four direct perpetrators and the Cairo leader Mohammad al-Salam Faraj, were condemned to death. Most of the middle-rank members, among them Ayman Al Zawahiri, were discharged from prison after only three years and many of them fled to Afghanistan to join the Mujahidin in the war against the Soviet Union. The former Egyptian Islamic  Jihad activists became later the spinal cord of Al Qaeda.

The Egyptian Islamic  Jihad continued its military operations against the Egyptian regime abroad, such as the attempted murder of former Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Sedki in 11/1993 in Cairo, the attempted murder of Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital in 06/1995, the Egyptian Embassy bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan on 11/19/1995 and many more attacks.  

On 02/23/1998 Ayman Al Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden issued a Fatwah (an Islamic religious statement) under the title “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders”, through the Al Quds Al Arabi news paper in London. Ayman Al Zawahiri also announced the unification of the Egyptian Islamic  Jihad with Al Qaeda.  Intelligence sources claim that Ayman Al Zawahiri is the real brain of Al Qaeda.

Today (08/1998) the Egyptian Islamic  Jihad is a coherent part of Al Qaeda.


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