Al-Qaeda Leader's Brother Offers Peace Plan

The brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has proposed to mediate a peace deal between the West and Islamists.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,


The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has proposed to mediate a peace deal between the West and Islamists.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Mohamed al Zawahiri unveiled his proposal for the first time, saying, as the brother of the leader of al-Qaeda, he is in a unique position to help end the violence.

He spent 14 years imprisoned in Egypt on charges including, terrorism and involvement in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat. He also spent five years in solitary confinement.

Now, he is saying that he wants peace between Muslims and non-Muslims and has written a proposal outlining the terms.

"I don't represent a certain group,” he told CNN. “My role is a mediator between the West and them."

A source with direct knowledge of Egyptian government talks with jihadists in the Sinai said Zawahiri is helping negotiations. The source added that Zawahiri has the respect of the Islamists and the trust of the new government, CNN reported. 

His six-page proposal offers a 10-year truce on condition that the terms are met. The terms include: “U.S. and West to stop intervening in Muslim lands; U.S. to stop interfering in Muslim education; U.S. to end the war on Islam; U.S. to release all Islamist prisoners.”

The document also calls on Islamists to: “Stop attacks on Western and U.S. interests; Protect legitimate Western and U.S. interests in Muslim lands; Stop provoking the U.S. and the West.”

"This is a very tough mission,” he said. “You have to be logical. If you want to live in peace then you must make others feel that they will live in peace."

While he claims that his brother will listen to him, he also admits that they have not spoken in long over a decade.

Osama bin Laden made a similar proposal in 2004, but it was quickly followed by the deadly 7/7 subway attack in London a year later, which killed 52 people.