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A number of Arab world watchers have described the claim as credible. This group also claimed the Madrid bombings. An interesting reference I read in Juan Cole's Salon article:

The phrase "Qaida al-Jihad" refers to the 2001 decision made by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leader of the Egyptian terrorist group al-Jihad al-Islami, to merge his organization into bin Laden's al-Qaida ("the Base"). The joint organization was thus renamed Qaida al-Jihad, the "Base for Holy War." (Zawahiri and bin Laden had allied in 1998.)

The group claiming responsibility for the London bombings represents itself as a secret, organized grouping or cell of "Qaida al-Jihad in Europe." It is significant that they identify themselves as "in Europe", suggesting that they are based on the continent and have struck from there into London. This conclusion is bolstered by their description of the attack as a "blessed raid". One raids a neighboring territory, not one's own.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian terrorist, makes the death of Egypt's highest envoy in Iraq on the same day as the London bombing not just coincidental, more likely a message to western intelligence - our terror effort is linked and global. We can still strike at will at the Zionists and Crusaders of the West. It was also a recent message from Al Zawahiri that foretold an upcoming attack.

Egypt's highest envoy al-Sherif killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CP) July 7, 2005 -- Egypt will close its mission in Baghdad and withdraw its staff after al-Qaida's wing in Iraq said it had killed an abducted top Egyptian envoy. Iraq's chief government spokesman said the killing and Thursday's bombings in London show terrorism "is not only targeting Iraqis but everyone".

Al-Qaida's group warned it would go after "as many ambassadors as we can" to punish countries that support Iraq's U.S.-backed leadership. The announcement from Iraq's most feared terror group appeared on an al-Qaida-linked website and featured a brief video showing blindfolded Egyptian diplomat, Ihab al-Sherif, wearing a polo shirt. The video did not show his death but the statement promised more details later.

"We announce in the name of 'al-Qaida in Iraq' that the verdict of God against the ambassador of the infidels, the ambassador of Egypt, has been carried out. Thank God," a written statement in posting said, adding: "Iraq is no longer safe for the infidels."

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry offered condolences for the "assassination" and an Egyptian diplomat who spoke in Cairo said the government is sure al-Sherif is dead "from our own means".

Biography and roots of a terrorist Ayman al-Zawahri

During President Sadat's Open Door' economic policy in the late 1970s that Ayman al-Zawahri completed his graduate studies in Medicine. Sadat's rapid "coca-cola-ization" of an undemocratic Egypt had started and colleges across the nation brimmed with social unrest. Islam became the countervailing force to what was perceived as a Judeo-Christian attempt to weaken religious beliefs and values. This was particularly true of the School of Medicine, an especially fertile ground for the activities of Islamists as opposed to other departments at Cairo University.

It was just about the time when Ali and his brother were selling Arabian horses from a makeshift stud farm in Atascadero, California, in 1982-3 that Ayman al-Zawahri MD served time in jail for his association with the Jihad that claimed responsibility for President Sadat's October 1981 assassination. The downside to the Camp David's Accords (peace treaty with Israel) and its concomitant economic support from the West was that an entire generation of disillusioned and confused young Egyptians had defected to the ranks of Islamist militants, egged on by rising corruption and Khomeni's anti-American rumblings in Iran.

After three years in jail, where even the most confirmed secular will turn into a potent militant, Ayman al-Zawahri closed his modest surgery located in the worn-out section of Maadi and left for Saudi Arabia a rancorous man.

Some within Ayman's family claim he was wrongly arrested and subjected to terrible torture. In a recent CNN interview, a lawyer relation, Mahfouz Azzam, stated that Ayman was 'an outright humanitarian hence the reason why he joined the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (Red Cross equivalent) following his release from jail.'

From Saudi Arabia, Ayman made it to Pakistan about the time when Afghanistan was shrugging off its Soviet occupiers. It was while practicing medicine in Peshawar that Ayman al-Zawahri met his partner in terror Osama Bin Laden.

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'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 9th, 2005 at 03:17:33 AM EST

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