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  • Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
    Tuesday Jun 19, 1951

    Born

    Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
    Tuesday Jun 19, 1951

    Ayman al-Zawahiri was born in 1951 in the neighborhood of Maadi, Cairo, in the then Kingdom of Egypt, to Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri and Umayma Azzam.




  • Cairo, Egypt
    1965

    Joining the Muslim Brotherhood

    Cairo, Egypt
    1965

    By the age of 14, al-Zawahiri had joined the Muslim Brotherhood. al-Zawahiri, along with four other secondary school students, helped form an "underground cell devoted to overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamist state." It was at this early age that al-Zawahiri developed a mission in life, "to put Qutb's vision into action."His cell eventually merged with others to form al-Jihad or Egyptian Islamic Jihad.




  • Cairo, Egypt
    1974

    Graduation

    Cairo, Egypt
    1974

    Ayman al-Zawahiri was reportedly a studious youth. Ayman excelled in school, loved poetry, and "hated violent sports" — which he thought were "inhumane." Al-Zawahiri studied medicine at Cairo University and graduated in 1974 with gayyid giddan, then earned a master's degree in surgery In 1978.




  • Opera Square, Giza, Egypt
    Sunday Jan 1, 1978

    1st Marriage

    Opera Square, Giza, Egypt
    Sunday Jan 1, 1978

    In 1978, al-Zawahiri married his first wife, Azza Ahmed Nowari, a student at Cairo University who was studying philosophy. Their wedding, which was held at the Continental Hotel in Opera Square, was very conservative, with separate areas for both men and women, and no music, photographs, or light-hearted humour.




  • Cairo, Egypt
    Tuesday Oct 6, 1981

    The assassination of President Anwar Sadat

    Cairo, Egypt
    Tuesday Oct 6, 1981

    In 1981, Al-Zawahiri was one of hundreds arrested following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat.




  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    1986

    Meeting Min Laden for the First Time

    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    1986

    Ayman al-Zawahiri had first met bin Laden in Jeddah in 1986, as a reportedly qualified surgeon, when his organization merged with bin Laden's al-Qaeda, he became bin Laden's personal advisor and physician.




  • Egypt
    1991

    The Egyptian Islamic Jihadleader Leader

    Egypt
    1991

    Al-Zawahiri began reconstituting the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) along with other exiled militants. The group had "very loose ties to their nominal imprisoned leader, Abud al-Zumur." In 1991, EIJ broke with al-Zumur, and al-Zawahiri grabbed "the reins of power" to become EIJ leader.


  • Islamabad, Pakistan
    Sunday Nov 19, 1995

    The Egyptian Islamic Jihad's first success under Zawahiri's Leadership

    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Sunday Nov 19, 1995

    The 1995 attack on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, was the Egyptian Islamic Jihad's first success under Zawahiri's leadership, but Bin Laden had disapproved of the operation. The bombing alienated Pakistan, which was "the best route into Afghanistan".


  • Chechnya, Russia
    Dec, 1996

    A Trip to Chechnya

    Chechnya, Russia
    Dec, 1996

    On December 1, 1996, Ahmad Salama Mabruk and Mahmud Hisham al-Hennawi – both carrying false passports – accompanied al-Zawahiri on a trip to Chechnya, where they hoped to re-establish the faltering Jihad. Their leader was traveling under the pseudonym Abdullah Imam Mohammed Amin, and trading on his medical credentials for legitimacy. The group switched vehicles three times, but were arrested within hours of entering Russian territory and spent five months in a Makhachkala prison awaiting trial.


  • Russia
    Tuesday Apr 1, 1997

    Imprisonment in Russia

    Russia
    Tuesday Apr 1, 1997

    In April 1997, the trio (Ahmad Salama Mabruk - Mahmud Hisham al-Hennawi - al-Zawahiri) were sentenced to six months, and were subsequently released a month later and ran off without paying their court-appointed attorney Abulkhalik Abdusalamov his $1,800 legal fee citing their "poverty".


  • Deir el-Bahari, Qesm Al Wahat Al Khargah, Egypt
    Monday Nov 17, 1997

    Luxor Massacre

    Deir el-Bahari, Qesm Al Wahat Al Khargah, Egypt
    Monday Nov 17, 1997

    While there Zawahiri learned of a "Nonviolence Initiative" being organized in Egypt to end the terror campaign that had killed hundreds and resulting government crackdown that had imprisoned thousands. Zawahiri angrily opposed this "surrender" in letters to the London newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Together with members of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, he helped organize a massive attack on tourists at the Temple of Hatshepsut to sabotage the initiative by provoking the government into repression. The attack by six men dressed in police uniforms succeeded in machine-gunning and hacking to death 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians.


  • Afghanistan
    1997

    Al-Zawahiri formally merged The Egyptian Islamic Jihad into al-Qaeda

    Afghanistan
    1997

    In 1998, al-Zawahiri formally merged the Egyptian Islamic Jihad into al-Qaeda. According to reports by a former al-Qaeda member, he has worked in the al-Qaeda organization since its inception and was a senior member of the group's shura council. He was often described as a "lieutenant" to Osama bin Laden, though bin Laden's chosen biographer has referred to him as the "real brains" of al-Qaeda.


  • Afghanistan
    Monday Feb 23, 1998

    World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders

    Afghanistan
    Monday Feb 23, 1998

    On February 23, 1998, al-Zawahiri issued a joint fatwa with Osama bin Laden under the title "World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders". Zawahiri, not bin Laden, is thought to have been the actual author of the fatwa.


  • Afghanistan
    Tuesday Jun 23, 1998

    Al-Qaeda congress

    Afghanistan
    Tuesday Jun 23, 1998

    Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri organized an al-Qaeda congress on June 24, 1998. A week prior to the beginning of the conference, a group of well-armed assistants to al-Zawahiri had left by jeeps in the direction of Herat. Following the instructions of their patron, in the town of Koh-i-Doshakh, they met three unknown Slavic-looking men who had arrived from Russia via Iran. After their arrival in Kandahar, they split up. One of the Russians was directly escorted to al-Zawahiri and he did not participate in the conference.


  • U.S.
    Aug, 1998

    Ayman al-Zawahiri was listed as under indictment in the United States

    U.S.
    Aug, 1998

    In 1998, Ayman al-Zawahiri was listed as under indictment in the United States for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to international attention.


  • Cairo, Egypt
    1999

    The case of the Returnees from Albania

    Cairo, Egypt
    1999

    For their leading role in anti-Egyptian Government attacks in the 1990s, al-Zawahiri and his brother Muhammad al-Zawahiri were sentenced to death in the 1999 Egyptian case of the Returnees from Albania.


  • Egypt
    1999

    Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia

    Egypt
    1999

    The Luxor massacre was so unpopular that no terror attacks occurred in Egypt for several years thereafter. Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia in 1999 by an Egyptian military tribunal.


  • Aden, Yemen
    Thursday Oct 12, 2000

    The USS Cole bombing

    Aden, Yemen
    Thursday Oct 12, 2000

    On 12 October 2000, the USS Cole bombing encouraged several members to depart. Mohammed Atef went to escape Kandahar, Zawahiri to Kabul, and Bin Laden fled to Kabul, later joining Atef when he realised no American reprisal attacks were forthcoming.


  • Afghanistan
    Saturday Oct 6, 2001

    The U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan

    Afghanistan
    Saturday Oct 6, 2001

    Following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri's whereabouts are unknown, but he is generally thought to be in tribal Pakistan. Although he releases videos of himself frequently (see Messages of Ayman al-Zawahiri), al-Zawahiri did not appear alongside bin Laden in any of them after 2003. However, despite a series of operations, they were unable to capture him.


  • U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 10, 2001

    Top 22 Most Wanted Terrorists

    U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 10, 2001

    On October 10, 2001, al-Zawahiri appeared on the initial list of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's top 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by U.S. President George W. Bush.


  • Afghanistan
    Wednesday Oct 31, 2001

    The Afghan citizenship

    Afghanistan
    Wednesday Oct 31, 2001

    In early November 2001, the Taliban government announced they were bestowing official Afghan citizenship on him, as well as Bin Laden, Mohammed Atef, Saif al-Adl, and Shaykh Asim Abdulrahman.


  • Gardez, Afghanistan
    Friday Nov 30, 2001

    Azza's Death

    Gardez, Afghanistan
    Friday Nov 30, 2001

    Ayman al-Zawahiri's first wife Azza and two of their six children, Mohammad and Aisha, were killed in an air strike on Afghanistan by US forces in late December 2001, following the September 11 attacks on the U.S. After an American aerial bombardment of a Taliban-controlled building at Gardez, Azza was pinned under debris of a guesthouse roof.


  • Damadola, Pakistan
    Friday Jan 13, 2006

    The Airstrike on Damadola

    Damadola, Pakistan
    Friday Jan 13, 2006

    On January 13, 2006, the Central Intelligence Agency, aided by Pakistan's ISI, launched an airstrike on Damadola, a Pakistani village near the Afghan border where they believed al-Zawahiri was located. The airstrike was supposed to kill al-Zawahiri and this was reported in international news over the following days. Many victims of the airstrike were buried without being identified. Anonymous U.S. government officials claimed that some terrorists were killed and the Bajaur tribal area government confirmed that at least four terrorists were among the dead.


  • Pakistan
    Monday Jan 30, 2006

    Al-Zawahiri's video about The Airstrike

    Pakistan
    Monday Jan 30, 2006

    Anti-American protests broke out around the country and the Pakistani government condemned the U.S. attack and the loss of innocent life. On January 30, a new video was released showing al-Zawahiri unhurt. The video discussed the airstrike, but did not reveal if al-Zawahiri was present in the village at that time.


  • Islamabad, Pakistan
    Tuesday Jul 3, 2007

    The First confirmed Time That Al-Zawahiri was Taking militant steps against The Pakistan Government

    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Tuesday Jul 3, 2007

    In July 2007, Al-Zawahiri supplied direction for the Lal Masjid siege, codename Operation Silence. This was the first confirmed time that Al-Zawahiri was taking militant steps against the Pakistan Government and guiding Islamic militants against the State of Pakistan. The Pakistan Army troops and Special Service Group taking control of the Lal Masjid ("Red Mosque") in Islamabad found letters from al-Zawahiri directing Islamic militants Abdul Rashid Ghazi and Abdul Aziz Ghazi, who ran the mosque and adjacent madrasah. This conflict resulted in 100 deaths.


  • Pakistan
    Monday Dec 17, 2007

    The assassination of Former Pakistani Prime Minister

    Pakistan
    Monday Dec 17, 2007

    On December 27, 2007, al-Zawahiri was also implicated in the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Apr 30, 2009

    Emergence as al-Qaeda's chief commander

    U.S.
    Thursday Apr 30, 2009

    On April 30, 2009, the U.S. State Department reported that al-Zawahiri had emerged as al-Qaeda's operational and strategic commander and that Osama bin Laden was now only the ideological figurehead of the organization. However, after the 2011 death of bin Laden, a senior U.S. intelligence official was quoted as saying intelligence gathered in the raid showed that bin Laden remained deeply involved in planning: "This compound (where bin Laden was killed) in Abbottabad was an active command-and-control center for al-Qaeda's leader. He was active in operational planning and in driving tactical decisions within al-Qaeda."


  • Pakistan
    Jun, 2011

    Al-Zawahiri's First video since the death of Osama bin Laden

    Pakistan
    Jun, 2011

    On June 8, 2011, al-Zawahiri released his first video since the death of Osama bin Laden, praising bin Laden and warning the U.S. of reprisal attacks, but without staking a claim on the leadership of al-Qaeda.


  • Afghanistan
    Wednesday Jun 15, 2011

    The Leader of al-Qaeda

    Afghanistan
    Wednesday Jun 15, 2011

    As of 2 May 2011, he became the leader of al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden. This was confirmed by a press release from al-Qaeda's general command on June 16. Al-Zawahiri's succession to command of al-Qaeda was announced on several of their websites on June 16, 2011. On the same day, al-Qaeda renewed its position that Israel was an illegitimate state and that it wouldn't accept any compromise on Palestine.


  • India
    Tuesday Sep 2, 2014

    Al-Qaeda in The Indian Subcontinent

    India
    Tuesday Sep 2, 2014

    On September 3, 2014, In a 55-minute-long video, al-Zawahiri announced the formation of a new wing called al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which would wage jihad "to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty, and to revive its Caliphate." Reaction amongst Muslims in India to the formation of the new wing was one of fury.


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