Al Qaeda chief’s brother awaits Egyptian court verdict

Muhammad al-Zawahiri could face death sentence if found guilty of membership to alleged Al Qaeda cell in Egypt

Photo by: CNN
Photo by: CNN

A court in Egypt is set to reach a verdict on Monday regarding the brother of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is due to be sentenced along with 66 others for allegedly plotting to carry out attacks in the country.

Muhammad al-Zawahiri is accused of being part of an Al Qaeda cell in Egypt, that set up secret training camps in Cairo and the Nile Delta, German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Al-Zawahiri was arrested in Egypt in August 2013, amid a nationwide crackdown on opposition to the military coup in the country, which took place a month earlier and resulted in the deposing of democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi, just one year into his term.

A former engineer, Al-Zawahiri was active in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad militant group in the early 1970s, during which he reportedly participated in operations against Egyptian and US targets. He then moved to Afghanistan to join the resistance against the Soviet invasion along with his brother Ayman, who in 2011 became successor to the late Al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden.

He was later arrested in Yemen in 1999 and deported to Egypt, where he remained in jail until 2012. He had only been released for a few months before his rearrest, during which he actively organised protests in Egypt.

If found guilty, Muhammad al-Zawahiri could face the death penalty.


TRTWorld and agencies