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Cablegate: Egyptian Islamic Group Denies Joining Al Qaeda

VZCZCXRO5173
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHEG #4907 2211228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091228Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0443
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS CAIRO 004907

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR MIKE SINGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC GROUP DENIES JOINING AL QAEDA

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.

1. (SBU) Egyptian Islamic Group (EIG) ("Al Gamaa Al
Islamiyah) officials have issued a denial of recent claims by
Al Qaida's Ayman al Zawahiri that the EIG has joined Al
Qaida. In a statement posted on the EIG's website
(www.egyptianislamicgroup.com), the group "asserts the
incorrectness" of Zawahiri's statement, noting that it
"contains flagrant contradictions of reality" (full text of
website statement below). On Egyptian and Arab satellite
television programs aired on August 8, Karam Zuhdi, head of
the EIG Shura Council, also denied that the EIG had joined Al
Qaida, and reiterated points made in the below website
statement.

2. (SBU) A translation of the EIG website statement follows:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Egyptian Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah asserts the
incorrectness of the Al-Zawahiri statement that was broadcast
on Al-Jazirah in regards to the joining of Al-Jama'ah
al-Islamiyah to Al-Qa'ida organization, and denies the
statement on the whole and in its details. As to the content
of Al-Zawahiri's statement concerning the names of Al-Jama'ah
al-Islamiyah leaders, it contains a flagrant contradiction of
the reality:

-- Dr. Umar Abd-al-Rahman was and still is a strong
supporter of Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah's initiative launched in
1997. To this date, he is still detained in an American
prison. May God ease his agony and may God raise his standing.

-- Shaykh Abd-al-Akhir Hammad announced on Al-Jazirah that
he in fact did not belong to the Al-Qa'ida organization on
the whole and in its details.

-- As for Shaykh Rifa'i Taha, he has declared since August
1998 his withdrawal from the Global Front for Jihad against
the Jews and Crusaders. He declared afterwards his
observance to Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah's decision. To this
day, he is still detained in one of the Egyptian prisons
where he has been since 2001. All that is known about him
confirms his observance to Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah's current
initiative.

-- Shaykh Muhammad Mustafa al-Murqi reinforced his support to
the Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah initiative in his book regarding
the sinful killing of civilians in the Islamic Shari'ah and
whose content contradicts the Al-Qa'ida organization's stance
regarding civilians.

-- We are left with brother Muhammad Khalil al-Hukayimah
whose name appeared on the statement broadcasted by
Al-Jazirah. The man is not known to us, and has never
occupied a leadership position in Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah.
His association with the Al-Qa'ida organization represents
his personal stand, no more and no less.

All that is left to say is that Al Jama'ah al-Islamiyah and
the Al-Qa'ida organization are in a profound disagreement on
the way they look at the reality, the goals they target, and
the strategies they plan. Because of the disagreement,
Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah appealed to the leaders of Al-Qa'ida
in a number of writings to review its vision and to reserve
the latent power of jihad in the souls of believers for use
where there is an oppressive colonialist or occupier away
from the bombing of Riyadh and Casablanca, and to review the
strategy of confronting enemies and fighting the whole world.

Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah

Karam Zuhdi, Najih Ibrahim, Isam Darbalah, Usamah Hafiz,
Fu'ad al-Duwalibi, Ali al-Sharif, Asim Abd-al-Majid, Hamdi
Abd-al-Rahman
-- Expect Shaykh Abd-al-Akhir Hammad's declaration on
Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah's website in which he refutes his
joining Al-Qa'ida.

-- Await statements by Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah's leaders in
regard to this erroneous news.

-- Await a few articles on the truth of the disagreement
between the vision of Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah and the
Al-Qa'ida organization.

End text of translation.


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