ian in origin, Ayman al-Zawahri
is believed to serve as Bin Laden's spiritual adviser, and doctor. He is also the architect of the al-Qaeda
In 1998, he was the second of five signatories to Bin Laden's notorious "fatwa" calling for attacks against US civilians.
He was a key figure in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group, which later merged with al- Qaeda.
Zawahri has appeared alongside Bin Laden in al-Qaeda videotapes released since 11 September. His wife and children were reported killed in a US air strike in late November or early December 2001.
He has been indicted in the US for his role in the US embassy bombings in Africa, and was sentenced to death in Egypt in absentia for his activities with the Islamic Jihad group in the 1990s.
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