The Egyptian doctor was arrested in 1981 after the assassination of Anwar Sadat and accused of being part of an Islamist plot to overthrow the government. Leaving Egypt, he formed an alliance with Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, merging his Muslim Brotherhood with Bin Laden's Al Qaeda. He issued a joint fatwa with Bin Laden "Against Jews and Christians" in 1998. Considered Al Qaeda's second-in-command prior to Osama Bin Laden's death, he is thought to be hiding out in the border area of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He survived a CIA airstrike on a Pakistani village where he was thought to be hiding in 2006, and continues to issue intermittent audio and videotapes urging jihad. The U.S. State Department said in 2009 that it considered Zawahiri the operational commander of Al Qaeda, with Bin Laden an "ideological figurehead."
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