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Al Qaeda Lives

The real story behind Benghazi and the other attacks of 9/11/12

Dec 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 15 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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But Zawahiri also sought to downplay the damage done to his organization by the deaths of individual terrorists, the linchpin of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism strategy. In the ideological war, Zawahiri claimed, al Qaeda is winning.

“This liar [Obama] is trying to deceive the Americans that he will achieve victory against al Qaeda through killing this person or that person, and escapes from the truth that he was defeated in Iraq, he is being defeated in Afghanistan, he was defeated in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya,” Zawahiri argued, according to a translation prepared by the SITE Intelligence Group. “He is running from the fact that al Qaeda has achieved its real mission, which is to incite the Ummah, and this is the warning for America’s defeat, Allah willing.”

Al Qaeda’s message “of jihad and martyrdom, and refusal of humiliation and submission,” Zawahiri insisted, “has spread amongst our Muslim Ummah, which received it with acceptance and responded to it.”

It is at this point in Zawahiri’s September 10 video message that a clip produced by Al Faroq Media in Egypt is shown. Al Faroq is not an official al Qaeda media outlet, but it endorses al Qaeda’s ideology. The Al Faroq clip shows a well-known al Qaeda-linked jihadist named Ahmed Ashush honoring Osama bin Laden as a martyr during a sermon in Cairo. Mohammed al Zawahiri, Ayman’s younger brother, sits in the foreground in front of an Al Qaeda in Iraq flag. Also sitting next to Ashush is another pro-al Qaeda jihadist named Sheikh Adel Shehato.

Both Mohammed al Zawahiri and Sheikh Shehato were directly involved in the events of September 11, 2012. And on September 17, Ashush would issue a fatwa calling for the makers of The Innocence of Muslims to be killed.

The protest in Cairo

When Jay Carney and other Obama administration spokesmen say that the Cairo protest was “directly in response to the video,” they ignore the obvious. The Cairo demonstration was not just anti-American or anti-blasphemy. It was an ostentatious, pro-al Qaeda affair.

The protesters chanted: “Obama, Obama! We are all Osama!” Al Qaeda in Iraq’s flag was hoisted after the U.S. embassy’s walls were breached. Dozens of similar flags, from al Qaeda-affiliated or inspired groups around the globe, were waved throughout the crowd. This was hardly a coincidence.

The Cairo protest’s chief organizer was the aforementioned Mohammed al Zawahiri, who was released from an Egyptian prison after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. He admits that he helped incite the protest in Cairo. “We called for the peaceful protest joined by different Islamic factions, including the Islamic Jihad [and the] Hazem Abu Ismael movement,” Mohammed al Zawahiri said, according to CNN.

Islamic Jihad is more commonly known as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and is part of al Qaeda’s international jihadist coalition. Ayman al Zawahiri, the EIJ’s longtime head, merged the group with Osama bin Laden’s venture well before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The eponymous Hazem Abu Ismael party is led by a hardline Salafist ideologue who has honored Osama bin Laden as a “martyr” and, in turn, been praised by the Zawahiris.

There has been some confusion in the press over Mohammed al Zawahiri’s politics. CNN and other news outlets have presented him as a peacemaker, for instance, because he offered to broker a deal between the jihadists and the West. But, as CNN itself has noted, Mohammed al Zawahiri’s “peace” offering was essentially the same one offered by Osama bin Laden a year before al Qaeda bombed London’s mass transit system on July 7, 2005. It is a ruse.

Mohammed al Zawahiri compiled an extensive terrorist dossier prior to his capture in the UAE in 1999. He became a high-ranking EIJ leader and did Ayman’s bidding throughout the 1990s, clandestinely traveling the world to various jihadist hotspots. During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), Ayman sent Mohammed to the Balkans, where he ostensibly did charity work for the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). In reality, Mohammed was tasked with establishing terrorist cells and coordinating the activities of al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists seeking a new, post-Afghanistan battlefield to fight on. The U.S. government eventually designated the IIRO as an al Qaeda-affiliated group.

Years later, a terrorist cell set up by Mohammed in Tirana, Albania, caused the U.S. government to go on high alert. On August 14, 1998, the U.S. embassy in Tirana was evacuated after officials learned that an al Qaeda cell had the facility in its crosshairs. Al Qaeda had bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania just one week earlier. As former Clinton administration officials have written, the threat in Tirana was so serious that 200 Marines were dispatched to make sure the evacuation went smoothly.

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