Mursi’s Chief of Staff Al-Qaeda Chief’s First Cousin

Note: The following post is being introduced as Addendum M to Ironclad: Egypt Involved in Benghazi Attacks. Mohammed al-Zawahiri is closely connected to his brother, al-Qaeda’s number one, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt, and the Jamal Network. Now it’s been learned that both Ayman and Mohammed are connected to former President of Egypt, Mohammed Mursi.

After the removal of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi from office on July 3, 2013, the rounding up of Muslim Brotherhood leaders has been a bit dizzying. A consequence of this is that some of the more important leaders can get lost in the media shuffle. One such official held the position of Chief of Staff to Mursi. In an August 6th article by Al-Ahram, buried at the bottom, is the following paragraph:

On Sunday, Rifaa El-Tahtawi, Morsi’s former chief-of-staff, and Asaad Sheikha, Morsi’s former deputy chief-of-staff, were detained for 15 days pending investigations into the same clashes.

Mursi's Chief of Staff Tahtawi and Al-Qaeda's number 1 are First Cousins.

Mursi’s Chief of Staff Tahtawi and Al-Qaeda’s number 1 are First Cousins.

What was not reported in that article but was elsewhere is that El-Tahtawi is the first cousin of Al-Qaeda’s number one, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Via Al-Nahar Egypt (Translated):

Ambassador Mohammed Tahtawi is a cousin of Al-Qaeda leader, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri… For his part, refused to Ambassador Mohammed Tahtawi comment on this matter: “I have no response.”

An important point here is that if Tahtawi is a cousin of Ayman al-Zawahiri, he’s also a cousin to Ayman’s brother Mohammed al-Zawahiri. This is significant because Mohammed, who was arrested by the new Egyptian government this past August is so close with the leaders of Ansar Al-Sharia in Egypt that his not being considered a member is either a formality or technicality. He’s also quite cozy with the leaders of another group suspected of being involved in the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack – the Jamal Network, to include the group’s founder, Muhammad Jamal al-Kashif.

Earlier this year, none other than Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm, a Jamal Network leader suspected of being very involved in the Benghazi attack, wrote a pro-Jihadist, pro-sharia, anti-American letter that was posted to Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt’s website and to Mohammed al-Zawahiri’s facebook page.

Here are several excerpts from an article by Thomas Joscelyn at Long War Journal this past July 4th:

A letter from Tariq Abu-al-Azm, an imprisoned member of the so-called Nasr City terrorist cell, was posted online by Ansar al Sharia Egypt on June 18… Ansar al Sharia Egypt describes Abu-al-Azm as “heroic”… Abu-al-Azm worked for Muhammad Jamal al Kashef (a.k.a. Abu Jamal), who corresponded with al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri in 2011 and 2012… on June 22, the same image with Abu-al-Azm’s text was posted on Mohammed al Zawahiri’s Facebook page… Mohammed al Zawahiri is part of Ansar al Sharia Egypt’s circle, and has lectured at the group’s events. {emphasis ours}

When Mohammed al-Zawahiri was arrested, he was in possession of a laptop that contained communications with Al-Qaeda, according to Al Arabiya. One of the reasons given for his arrest at the time was that he had backed Mursi.

Two months later, that charge appears to be bolstered by the fact that Mursi’s Chief of Staff is the cousin of both Ayman and Mohammed.

Mohammed al-Zawahiri: Cousin was Mursi's Chief of Staff.

Mohammed al-Zawahiri: Cousin was Mursi’s Chief of Staff.

As EXHIBT Z in our “Ironclad” Report points out, Mohammed al-Zawahiri was outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on the morning of 9/11/12 – alongside the son of Omar Abdul Rahman (The “Blind Sheikh”). They were joining protesters who sought the release of the “Blind Sheikh”, something also sought by then President Mohammed Mursi, whose Chief of Staff at the time… is… the cousin of Ayman and Mohammed al-Zawahiri.

The case for Muslim Brotherhood Egypt’s involvement in the Benghazi attacks just got a bit stronger.

Khairat al-Shater, Muslim Brotherhood Deputy in Egypt and that group’s presidential candidate before Mursi, has also been arrested. Addendum K in our “Ironclad” Report is about his Chief of Staff, Gehad el Haddad, who also was an employee of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s William J. Clinton Foundation.


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