Ayman al-Zawahiri

Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2] (June 19, 1951 – July 31, 2022) was an Egyptian-born terrorist, and physician who served as the second emir of al-Qaeda from June 16, 2011, until his death.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
أيمن الظواهري
al-Zawahiri in 2001
2nd General Emir of Al-Qaeda
In office
June 16, 2011  July 31, 2022
Preceded byOsama bin Laden
Deputy Emir of Al-Qaeda
In office
Preceded byPosition created
Emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad
In office
Preceded byMuhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj
Succeeded byPosition disestablished (merged with Al-Qaeda)
Personal details
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri

(1951-06-19)June 19, 1951
Giza, Kingdom of Egypt
DiedJuly 31, 2022(2022-07-31) (aged 71)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Cause of deathDrone strike via Hellfire missiles
    Azza Ahmed
    (m. 1978; died 2001)
    • Umaima Hassan
    Alma materCairo University
    Military career
    Years of service1980–2022
    RankGeneral Emir of Al-Qaeda

    Al-Zawahiri graduated from Cairo University with a degree in medicine and a master's degree in surgery and was a surgeon by profession. He became a leading figure in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, an Egyptian Islamist organization, and eventually attained the rank of emir. He was imprisoned from 1981 to 1984 for his role in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. His actions against the Egyptian government, including his planning of the 1995 attack on the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan, resulted in him being sentenced to death in absentia during the 1999 "Returnees from Albania" trial.

    A close associate of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, al-Zawahiri held significant sway over the group's operations. Al-Zawahiri was wanted by the United States and the United Nations, respectively, for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and in the 2002 Bali bombings. He merged the Egyptian Islamic Jihad with al-Qaeda in 2001 and formally became bin Laden's deputy in 2004. He succeeded bin Laden as al-Qaeda's leader after bin Laden's death in 2011. In May 2011, the U.S. announced a $25 million bounty for information leading to his capture.

    On July 31, 2022, al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan.

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