Osama bin Laden, Mohammed al Zawahiri, and Sheikh Tawfiq Al ‘Afani, as seen in the Al Faroq video on the protest at the US embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012. Courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group.
Today Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, helped organize another protest in front of a Western embassy. This time he was protesting the French invasion of Mali, in front of France’s embassy in Cairo. You’ll recall that he was one of the several al Qaeda-linked jihadists who orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2012 protest at the US Embassy in Cairo. He’s big on protests.
During today’s festivities, according to Agence France Presse, the protesters said that France was “at war against Islam” because of its intervention in Mali. Of course, France is targeting the al Qaeda-linked coalition of jihadist groups that has seized northern Mali — not Islam itself.
An account in yesterday’s Egypt Independent says that today’s protest was planned by the Salafi Jihadist Movement in Egypt and identifies Mohammed al Zawahiri as a “leader” of the movement.
The younger Zawahiri told the Egypt Independent that the “Islamic Alliance to halt injustice in Egypt” would participate in the protest. The alliance “includes Al-Taefa Al-Mansoura (The Victorious Sect) in Cairo, Ansar al-Sharia in Alexandria and Dawat al-Morsaleen (Prophets’ message) in Beni Suef.”
Mohammed al Zawahiri also said, according to Egypt Independent’s summary, that the protest was intended “to draw attention to what he said was the injustice of France against Mali and to ask the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to provide aid to Mali and condemn France’s position.”
Egypt Independent’s account continues:
Zawahiri warned against what he called repeated attacks by Europeans on Muslims and the interference in their internal affairs. He described the French military action as “threatening of the return of French colonialism on Arab and Islamic peoples.”
The younger Zawahiri did not say anything, of course, about the al Qaeda coalition’s destruction of Sufi shrines, mosques, and other Muslim property in Mali over the past year. That didn’t warrant a protest.
Somewhere his older brother, Ayman, must be smiling.
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