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October 16, 2007

Hard To Know Which Side To Root For

Ayman al-Zawahiri is Osama bin Laden's number two in al Qaeda. In 1995 (when he was still running his own organization, called al-Jihad) he attempted to assassinate Hosni Mubarak when Mubarak visited Ethiopia. Here's how Lawrence Wright, in The Looming Tower, describes the Egyptian government's response when the plot failed:

To deal with Zawahiri, Egyptian intelligence agents devised a fiendish plan. They lured a thirteen year-old boy named Ahmed into an apartment with the promise of juice and videos. Ahmed was the son of Mohammed Sharraf, a well-known Egyptian fundamentalist and a senior member of al-Jihad. The boy was drugged and sodomized; when he awakened, he was confronted with photographs of the homosexual activity and threatened with the prospect of having them shown to his father. For the child, the consequences of such a disclosure were overwhelming. "It could even be that the father would kill him," a source close to Zawahiri admitted.

Next the Egyptian agents got the first boy to lure in a second, whom they also drugged and raped. Then they got the two to spy on Zawahiri in an attempt to kill him. Then Zawahiri caught the two boys spying. And then he had them both shot.

AND OF COURSE: A jolly picture of Bush and Mubarak holding hands and grinning is available here.

Posted at October 16, 2007 07:46 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, I had the same problem when it was the SS/Wehrmacht vs Ernst Roehm and the SA in 1934.

Posted by: donescobar at October 16, 2007 09:37 PM

Jonathan, your link to the looming tower is not working at least for me, just a heads up.

Posted by: rob payne at October 16, 2007 10:17 PM

i had the same experience as rob

a web search led me to

which states the text appeared in the New Yorker issue of Sept. 16, 2002

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at October 17, 2007 11:13 AM

Were any Republican legislators involved in that incident? I mean, it sounds like their kind of scene.

Posted by: darrelplant at October 17, 2007 11:29 AM

The Moral Highground, I see. (and you WONDER why we call this THE HIGHWAY TO HELL)(no stopsign, speed limit, nobody's gonna slow us down)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 17, 2007 12:43 PM

That Looming Tower story is appalling. Those poor kids.

Posted by: Batocchio at October 17, 2007 04:25 PM

Yes, but what is most thoughtworthy is that these days MIGHT grow up to be as twisted as their dads given the conditions they have grown up in. Today's innocent kid...tomorrow's twisted never know such things...

Not that I agree with what is being done here, of course...

Posted by: En Ming Hee at October 17, 2007 09:41 PM