Osama bin Laden is a Saudi Arabian-born terrorist leader of the Al Qaeda, a terrorist group that is based mainly in Afghanistan. He was driven by the belief that everything in the Muslim world can be restored to normalcy if Sharia law is reinstated. On the contrary he opposes the aspects of democracy, socialism and communism. Osama believes that there are a lot of atrocities that have committed against the Muslims that have been committed by the US and other non-Muslim states (Aubrey, 2004, p.116). With this in mind, one of the tactics that is employed by Osama to achieve his targets is the use of Jihad violence. More important is the fact that Osama drew his motivation to become a terrorist from Al Thagher teachers, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood that has its origins in Egypt and which promotes violence as a means of restoring Muslim governance.
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri on the other hand is an Egypt-born terrorist that has been linked to Al Qaeda. Having joined an Islamic movement at the age of 15 years that was working on overthrowing the government of Egypt and establish a totally Islamic state in 1966, he has been able to rise up the ladder of terrorism to become among the most prominent terrorist across the globe (Kepel, Milelli & Ghazaleh, 2008, p.148). Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri drew his motivations to become a terrorist from Sayyid Qutb’s life and political ideologies, an Egyptian Islamist. More so, the attempted overthrow of the Egyptian government that would lead to an establishment of an Islamic state and the torture that followed thereafter led him to commit himself to fulfill Qutb’s vision, i.e. establishment of an Islamic leadership in Egypt (p.152). With this in mind, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri has targetd the US, non-Muslim nations and any other person that believes in Western ideologies. Additionally, just like Osama, he believes that he can be able to achieve his missions by using violent Jihad tactics.
One of the biggest difference between Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri is their backgrounds and their original mission and vision. To begin with, Osama bin Laden grew under what was a totally different influence into becoming a terrorist, in this regard under Al Thagher teachers that a section of the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, Dr. Ayman grew under the influence of the ideologies of Sayyid Qutb, and later a radical movement that was more violent than the Muslim Brotherhood (The New York Times). In addition to this, Osama has targeted the West as a way of making them pay back for all the atrocities they have committed against Muslims while the mission of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri is get a totally Islamic state in Egypt and other areas where Islam religion is prominent.
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