"Knights Under the Prophet's Banner"
London-Al-Sharq al-Awsat-- Al-Sharq al-Awsat has obtained a copy of a book that is regarded as thelast will" of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama Bin Laden's primary ally and leader of the Egyptian Al-Jihad Organization. In thebook, the second most wanted man by the United States talks about important stages in his life, hisAfghanArab" companions, and the reason why (Islamist) movements are inimical to the United States.In the introduction to the book Al-Jihad leader says:I have written this book for an additional reason, namely, tofulfill the duty entrusted to me towards our generation and future generations. Perhaps I will not be able to writeafterwards in the midst of these worrying circumstances and changing conditions. I expect that no publisher willpublish it and no distributor will distribute it."In the book that is entitled “
Knights Under the Prophet's Banner"
Al-Zawahiri recounts the events of the Al-Jihad Organization's early years as he experienced them, beginning with his joining the first Al-Jihad cell inCairo in 1966, that is, before he completed his 16th year (Al-Zawahiri was born in 1951) and then recountssubsequent events that shook the world.The book was smuggled by an Egyptian Islamist called A.S." who is a close aide of Al-Zawahiri out of anAfghan cave in the Kandahar region to the border city of Peshawar and then to London. Al-Sharq al-Awsat willpublish chapters of this book as of today.Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Egyptian Al-Jihad Organization who, after Usama Bin Laden, is thesecond most wanted man in the world by the United States, is hiding either in a cavern or hideout in themountains surrounding Kandahar, the spiritual capital of Taliban ruler Mullah Omar, or in a hideout somewherenear the Pakistani border. It is not unlikely that the thunder of the bombs dropped by the US aircraft that arepounding Afghanistan close to his hideout is disturbing his thoughts as he writes his next book, whose lastchapters might be about to be completed. This second book is about the 11 September 2001 events and theUS air strikes that have caused the death of dozens of al-Qa'ida leaders, notably Abu-Hafs al-Masri, BinLaden's brother-in-law and the clandestine organization's former military commander; Nasr Fahmi Nasr, Al-Jihad Organization's financial official; and Tariq Anwar, the official in charge of special operations.In the new book that, according to Islamist sources in London, has not yet come out, Al-Zawahiri speaks aboutthe Al-Jihad Organization in Egypt, the reasons for his personal emigration from Egypt, and the waging of abattle under Bin Laden's command against thedistant enemy," a battle that has ruined everything inAfghanistan, led to the death of approximately 15 of Al-Jihad's leading figures, and dealt a blow to the Taliban.Islamic sources believe that Al-Zawahiri's next book will not be less sensational than the bookMeditationsUnder the Roof of the World" written by theArab Afghans'" primary theoretician and thinker Abu-al-Walid, anEgyptian Islamist wanted by the United States. He is very close to Bin Laden and Mullah Omar.Al-Zawahiri, who comes from a wealthy Egyptian family, joined the ranks of the opponents of the late EgyptianPresident Anwar al-Sadat when he was only 16 (as published; when Al-Sadat became President, Al-Zawahiriwas already 20, since he was born in 1951). He was later imprisoned on the charge of involvement in Al-Sadat'sassassination.Al-Zawahiri formed a group all of his own, of which he was the leader (amir). It included his brother Muhammad, nicknamed the Engineer, who was extradited by the United Arab Emirates to Egypt in 2000.Prior to October 1981 (month in which Al-Sadat was assassinated) Al-Zawahiri was introduced to militaryintelligence officer Abbud al-Zumar, who persuaded him to join Abd-al-Salam Faraj's group. Al-Zawahiri wasarrested in connection with the assassination of former President Anwar al-Sadat and spent three years in jail.In 1985 he left Egypt for Peshawar and there he succeeded in uniting the Afghan Arab groups.Al-Zawahiri heads a list of 14 persons wanted by Egypt because of their involvement in violent attacks. The listincludes Yasir Sirri, director of the Islamic Surveillance Center in London (currently detained at Britain's PealMarsh jail on the charge of involvement in assassinating the Afghan military commander Ahmad Shah Masoud).