Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader announced in a new videotape aired Saturday that an Egyptian militant group has joined the terror network.
It was the first time that al-Qaida had announced a branch in Egypt, the Arab world's largest nation. The Egyptian group, Gamaa Islamiya, is apparently a revived version of a militant group of the same name that waged a campaign of violence in Egypt during the 1990s but was crushed in a government crackdown.
"We announce to the Islamic nation the good news of the unification of a great faction of the knights of the Gamaa Islamiya ... with the Al-Qaida group," Ayman al-Zawahri, the deputy leader of al-Qaida said in the videotape aired on the Al-Jazeera news network.
Al-Zawahri said the Egyptian group was led by Mohammed al-Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1979 and was later executed.