Name of leader         Ayman Al-Zawahiri

 

Organization                     Al Qaeda

Conflict country               USA

 

Gender                               Male  

    

Year of birth                      1951[1]

 

Place of birth                    Maʿādī, Egypt[2]

 

Year of death                    N/A

 

 

Deceased

 

No, there is no evidence he has died.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

In 2009 the U.S. Department of State determined that Zawahiri appeared to be al-Qaeda’s leading decision maker”, although it is possible that Zawahiri had been leading earlier.”[3], so he would have been 58.

Leader entry method

 

It is unclear it seems, although in 2011, he was officially designated the leadership position.[4]

Powersharing

 

No, there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

As a child, “he was greatly influenced by the work of Sayyid Quṭb, an Egyptian writer who was one of the foremost figures in modern Sunni Islamic revivalism.” He then went on to graduate from Cairo University’s medical school in 1974, specializing in surgery.[5]

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes, he has many wives, but the age of his first marriage is unknown.[6]

 

Children

 

Yes, he had at least five children[7], although some were killed.[8]

 

Religious identification

 

He is Muslim.[9]

 

Elite Family background

 

Yes “his parents were from prominent families”, although he was raised pretty humbly.[10]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

Yes, “By age 15 Zawahiri had established a group dedicated to the overthrow of the Egyptian government in favour of Islamic rule….”[11]

Physical and mental health

 

No, there is no evidence of poor physical or mental health.

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

He was a physician.[12]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, he served as an army surgeon for three years.[13]

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, “Zawahiri assumed the leadership of the militant group Egyptian Islamic Jihad (thereafter better known as Islamic Jihad).”[14]

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

Yes, “Bin Laden had departed for Sudan in 1992, and Zawahiri ultimately joined him there. Sudan served as a base for the training of militants and for attacks on Egyptian targets, including attacks on government officials and on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan.”[15]

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence that he held a government position.

Lived in exile?

 

No, although he was expelled from Sudan at one point.[16]

 

Study abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence that he studied abroad.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence that he received military training abroad.

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence that he had extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

Yes, “After returning to Egypt, Zawahiri was one of several hundred militants arrested in the wake of the assassination of Pres. Anwar el-Sādāt in October 1981. Zawahiri was convicted of illegal arms possession and imprisoned for three years. During that time he was subjected to torture by intelligence officers interested in information about his contacts, an experience that intensified his militancy,” then “In late 1996 he was arrested by Russian officials while illegally crossing the border en route to Chechnya, where he planned to launch a new base for Islamic Jihad.”[17]

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

Yes, at least four times by the U.S. Government.[18]

Cause of Death?

 

N/A

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

He primary language is probably Arabic, since he is from Egypt[19], he is also fluent in French and English.[20]

 

 

[1] Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Ayman_al-Zawahiri_portrait.JPG
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[2] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[3] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[4] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[5] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[6] "Ayman al-Zawahiri Fast Facts," CNN,  June 7, 2016, Accessed December 27, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/ayman-al-zawahiri---fast-facts/.

[7] Jason Burke, "Ayman al-Zawahiri: Al-Qaida's arrogant doctor of death," The Observer profile, June 18, 2011, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2011/jun/19/ayman-zawahiri-observer-profile.

[8] Chelsea J. Carter "Al Qaeda leader calls for kidnapping of Westerners," CNN, October 29, 2012, Accessed December 27, 2016. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/27/world/asia/al-qaeda-kidnap-threat/.

[9] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[10] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[11] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[12] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[13] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[14] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[15] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[16] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[17] The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, "Ayman al-Zawahiri," Encyclopedia Britannica, October 16, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ayman-al-Zawahiri.

[18] Robert Windrem and William M. Arkin, "Last Man Standing: Why Can't We Kill Bin Laden's Wingman?" NBCNews.com, May 17, 2016, Accessed December 27, 2016, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/why-hasn-t-u-s-kill-bin-laden-s-wingman-n574986.

[19] Ibid.1.

[20] Aaron Mannes, Profiles in Terror: The Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organization (Lanham:  Roman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004), 32.