Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya have joined al Qaeda

Some leaders of Egypt’s Gama’a Islamiya have joined al Qaeda, al Qaeda’s deputy head Ayman al-Zawahri said in a video aired on Al Jazeera television on Saturday.
He said the move aimed to help “rally the Muslim nation’s capabilities in a unified rank in the face of the most severe crusader campaign against Islam in its history.”

A man introduced by Zawahri as a Gama’a leader, Mohamed Hakaima, appeared in a portion of the video and confirmed the unity move, but said some group members had “deviated” from it

ABC News

Background On Gama’a Islamiya

Egypt’s largest militant group, active since the late 1970s, appears to be loosely organized. Has an external wing with supporters in several countries worldwide. The group issued a cease-fire in March 1999, but its spiritual leader, Shaykh Umar Abd al- Rahman—sentenced to life in prison in January 1996 for his involvement in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 and incarcerated in the United States—rescinded his support for the cease-fi re in June 2000. The IG has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since August 1998. Senior member signed Usama Bin Ladin’s fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks against the United States.

From 1993 until the cease-fire, al-Gama’a launched attacks on tourists in Egypt, most notably the attack in November 1997 at Luxor that killed 58 foreign tourists. Also claimed responsibility for the attempt in June 1995 to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Gama’a never has specifically attacked a US citizen or facility but has threatened US interests.

Funding and external support for Gama’a is unknown, however Egyptian Officials suspect Iran as well as Al Qaeda networks supprting it, as well as contributions through various Islamic Charities.  

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