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Al-Qaeda 2.0A Critical Reader$
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Donald Holbrook

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190856441

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190856441.001.0001

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The Seventh Interview with Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri Reality Between Pain and Hope

The Seventh Interview with Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri Reality Between Pain and Hope

May 2014

Ayman al-Zawahiri and Al-Sahab

(p.99) The Seventh Interview with Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri Reality Between Pain and Hope
Al-Qaeda 2.0
Donald Holbrook

Cerwyn Moore

Oxford University Press

This is the seventh ‘interview’ between Al-Sahab, Al-Qaeda’s media production department, and Zawahiri, a tradition which started in 2005. This format gives Zawahiri the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of matters in great detail, whilst giving the impression that critical issues have been addressed and approached from different viewpoints. This is the first significant statement about infighting among jihadis in Syria and whilst Zawahiri seems keen to blame the turmoil on ‘external’ factors such as criminality or alleged infiltration by the Assad regime, two key historical analogies that subsequently became prominent in his denunciation of this ‘fitna’ [sedition/strife] emerge. These are comparisons with the fate of the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) that fought in the civil war in Algeria and became widely condemned as a jihadi outcast and the infighting that spread throughout Afghanistan after Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

Keywords:   Ayman al-Zawahiri, As-Sahab, Algeria, Groupe Islamique Armé, Egypt, Mobilization, fitna

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