3. AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI. KNIGHTS UNDER THE PROPHET”S BANNER. 
Ayman al-Zawahiri [born 1951] was born into an upper middle class family living in the suburbs of Cairo, Egypt. His father was a medical professor at Cairo University; his mother came from a wealthy family. At the age of 14 Zawahiri joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and seems to have been much influenced by Sayyid Qutb, whose vision Zawahiri was determined to put into action. Zawahiri’s underground cell, inspired by Qutb’s writings, eventually merged with others to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He studied at Cairo University, and by 1978 had earned a master’s degree in surgery.
Ayman al-Zawahiri clearly planned to overthrow the existing order in Egypt, and his organisation the Egyptian Islamic Jihad was behind the assassination of the President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, in October, 1981. Zawahiri was arrested along with a hundreds of others, imprisoned, and probably tortured. In 1985, he left for Saudi Arabia, where he practiced medicine in Jeddah. It is likely he met Osama bin Laden there. Over the next few years, Zawahiri travelled widely in Russia, Western Europe, the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, using various names and passports, and was involved in acts of terrorism before the infamous September 11, 2001 attacks in New York. By 2009, Zawahiri had emerged as the operational and strategic commander of al-Qaeda.The US Department of State is offering a reward of up to $25 million for any information about his location. At present, Zawahiri is probably somewhere in NW Pakistan or the Afghani border.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, like all jihadist theorists and activists, sees democracy as the chief enemy, and argues for jihad as a means to achieving an Islamic State. Violence is advocated at every level in the fight against the Near Enemy [Arab Governments] and the Far Enemy [The United States]. As Dr. Gorka explains, “Key concepts of his seminal work begin with the statement that human beings cannot be sovereign. Sovereignty is Allah’s alone, therefore democracy must be destroyed as it posits man’s sovereignty over man. Democracy is nothing more than a pagan religion. It is a form of jahiliyyah. Secondly, the line between internal and external enemies is an illusion. The near enemy is a tool of the far enemy. For example, the King of Jordan is not an internal enemy, he is not a near enemy, but just a puppet of America. There is no distinction between the two, they must be understood as a whole: the enemy is everywhere. Thirdly, the battle for Islam must go global. All Muslims must engage. The message is clear from the very title of Zawahiri’s book: Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner. Muslims must all unite under one flag, and not the flag of one nation, but the flag of the last true prophet. Rulers who defy Islam must be exposed, and all Muslims must be held responsible for defending Islam. It does not matter if you are living comfortably in London, Berlin, or Minnesota — as a Muslim you are responsible too. Without a Caliphate or Muslim super-state, there cannot be victory. At the end of his book Zawahiri states, “In our means, methods, and resources we must combine patience with infliction of mass casualties and the best method to do this is suicide attacks.” “¦.. “This confrontation with Islam’s enemies must be to the last drop of blood.”