1,128. 2/23/1998

“Dr. [Ayman] al-Zawahiri, the surgeon who had become the group’s [Egyptian Islamic Jihad’s] leader, began forging an alliance with bin Laden. In February [23] 1998, he signed the declaration announcing The Islamic Front for Fighting Crusaders and Jews. Its goals included attacking American military and civilian targets. The move caused a split within Egyptian Islamic Jihad, experts say, with a splinter faction criticizing Dr. Zawahiri for shifting the focus away from Egypt. But 200 hard-core Islamic Jihad members went with him and now form the core of Mr. bin Laden’s leadership circle.”

 – Neil MacFarquhar, “Islamic Jihad, Forged in Egypt, Is Seen as bin Laden’s Backbone,” The New York Times, Oct. 4, 2001

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