Al-Qaida’s terrorist-in-chief used his public video address to lambaste members of Egypt’s radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over al-Qaida after Osama bin Laden’s death, referred to members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as “chickens,” due to what he believes is the group’s giving in to Western and secular interests. The address, titled “Who Will Defend The Koran?” is the first of what will apparently be a series of videos.
“He likens the Brotherhood to a ‘poultry farm,’ which raises ‘chickens’ to be pleased ‘with what they are given,’ but leaves them ‘ignorant’ of the predatory threats that surround them,” wrote Tom Joscelyn, editor of the Long War Journal, in a post Sunday.
Zawahiri condemned the Arab Spring, the series of popular revolutions across the Middle East in 2011, as a failure in most countries due to the fact that Islamist were unable to take control. He accused former Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of winning the presidency only because he agreed to maintain agreements with the U.S. and Israel. He also chastised him for failing to fully implement Sharia law, despite the fact that Morsi had pushed several strict measures during his time in office.
The al-Qaida leader’s criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood has existed in one way or another for decades. Zawahiri, himself an Egyptian and a former Muslim Brotherhood member, has often argued that the organization should join al-Qaida in waging violent jihad to push forward their shared philosophies, according to Joscelyn.
Zawahiri’s address comes at a crossroads for al-Qaida. The group has been largely living in the shadow of Islamic State’s high profile violence since 2014, but with ISIS being rolled back in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, there may be an opportunity for al-Qaida to have a resurgence in the public eye.
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