Ayman al-Zawahiri - the doctor turned terrorist : 10 rare facts

Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as chief of Al Qaeda was killed by a US drone strike on the 31st of July 2022. What's interesting is that, Zawahiri began his career as a surgeon
Ayman al-Zawahiri - the doctor turned terrorist : 10 rare facts (VOA)
Ayman al-Zawahiri - the doctor turned terrorist : 10 rare facts (VOA)

Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as chief of Al Qaeda was killed by a US drone strike on the 31st of July 2022. What's interesting is that, Zawahiri began his career as a surgeon with the Egyptian Army.

Here are a few facts about Zawahiri to feed your curiosity:

1. Al - Zawahiri was born into a prestigious Egyptian family of doctors & scholars in June, 1951.
2. He had a twin sister, Heba Mohammed al-Zawahiri who served as a professor of Medical Oncology at the Cairo University's National cancer Institute. Ayman was silent and shy according to Heba.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as chief of Al Qaeda was killed by a US drone strike on the 31st of July 2022 (representational image - VOA)
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as chief of Al Qaeda was killed by a US drone strike on the 31st of July 2022 (representational image - VOA)
3. Ayman al-Zawahiri graduated with a degree in Medicine from Cairo University in 1974, after which he worked in the Egyptian Army as a surgeon for 3 years. Later in 1978, he was awarded a master's degree in surgery.
4. Al-Zawahiri was active in religious politics from a very young age and when his organization merged with bin Laden's Al Qaeda, he became Osama's personal advisor and physician.
Ayman al-Zawahiri - the doctor turned terrorist : 10 rare facts (VOA)
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5. He practiced medicine in a number of countries apart from his native Egypt, which included Saudi Arabia and Pakistan where he worked in a Red Crescent hospital treating wounded refugees.
6. Zawahiri travelled to the USA in 1993 relying on his credentials from Kuwaiti red Crescent under a pseudonym and addressed several mosques in order to raise money for Afghani children who had been injured by Soviet land mines.
Ayman al-Zawahiri - the doctor turned terrorist : 10 rare facts (VOA)
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7. He was one of the several millitants accused of assassinating the then President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Zawahiri was subjected to intense torture during that time, which renewed his zeal to overthrow the Egyptian government and establish Islamic rule. Reportedly he tried to assasinate President Hosni Mubarak in 1995 but failed miserably.
8. Zawahiri forged a formal alliance with bin Laden in late 1990s and is known to have had an active involvement in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks.
Zawahiri forged a formal alliance with bin Laden in late 1990s and is known to have had an active involvement in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks (representational image - VOA)
Zawahiri forged a formal alliance with bin Laden in late 1990s and is known to have had an active involvement in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks (representational image - VOA)
9. He took the reins of Al Qaeda in 2011, after the death of bin Laden and served as the organization's chief until his death.
10. After Taliban formed the government in Afghanistan, Zawahiri moved his residence to Kabul, the capital city, where he succumbed to a US drone strike on 31st of July 2022.

(With input from Britannica, VOA)

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