Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Egyptian Islamic Jihad is a militant Islamist terrorist organization currently under the control of Al-Qaeda. It is considered a terrorist group by Egypt, America, Britain, Sudan, Albania, Lebanon, Yemen and many other countries and is under worldwide embargo by the United Nations.
The EIJ was founded in 1980 by Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj as a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood under the name "Tanzim al-Jihad", or Islamic Jihad, with the goal of overthrowing the Egyptian government and creating a Sharia state. In 1970, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic Jihad member Khalid Islambouli in a plot coordinated by Faraj and supported by fundamentalist general Aboud El Zomor, resulting in a crackdown on the group, the execution of Islambouli and Faraj and the imprisonment of El Zomor. The Islamic Jihad was ultimately destroyed by the Egyptian government, and the remaining members fled to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The group was re-formed in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the mid-1980s under the name "Egyptian Islamic Jihad", the name by which it is known today, with Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif as the new leader. At around this time, the EIJ began to influence Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who ultimately aligned Al-Qaeda with the group, having his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri take command from Al-Sharif, although Nabil Na'eem would briefly take over in 1988. With Al-Qaeda's influence giving them greater strength, the EIJ continued their efforts to destroy the Egyptian government. However, they managed to capture the EIJ's membership director and discover the names of many members, resulting in 800 Jihadists being arrested.
al-Zawahiri, inspired by the militant group Hezbollah, began directing suicide bombings against Egyptian politicians, starting with a failed attempt to kill Minister of the Interior Hassan Al Alfi in 1993. That same year, they carried out a second suicide bombing to assassinate prime minister Atef Sidqi. This attempt also failed, and a little girl named Shayma Abdel-Halim was killed, resulting in a crackdown on the group by president Hosni Mubarak and the execution of eight members for involvement in the bombing. As a result, a group of Sudan-backed EIJ members lead by Mustafa Hamza attempted to assassinate Mubarak, but failed.
In 1994, the son of senior EIJ member Ahmad Salama Mabruk was abducted and sexually abused by Egyptian agents, who then used the tape to blackmail him into acting as an informant. They later ultimately told him to assassinate al-Zawahiri, but the Sudanese government learned of the plot and alerted al-Zawahiri, who captured him and had him executed by firing squad. As a result of the execution, the Sudanese government declared the EIJ terrorists and expelled them from the Sudan. The United Nations then placed sanctions on them as punishment for backing the EIJ.
In June 2001, Al-Qaeda announced that they had taken control of the EIJ, which had been ruined under al-Zawahiri's control, leaving bin Laden in charge of the group. bin Laden was later killed in 2011, and replaced by al-Zawahiri as head of Al-Qaeda, leaving him in charge of the assimilated EIJ once again.