Jihad Group

From: Patterns of Global Terrorism. United States Department of State Publication 10321

Other Names

Islamic Jihad
New Jihad Group
Vanguards of Conquest
Talaa'al-Fateh [Tala'i' al Fath]


An Egyptian Islamic extremist group active since the late 1970s; appears to be divided into at least two separate factions: remnants of the original Jihad led by Abbud al-Zumar, currently imprisoned in Egypt, and a new faction calling itself Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa'al al-Fateh [Tala'i' al Fath] or the NewJihad Group). The Vanguards of Conquest appears to be led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is currently outside Egypt, specific whereabouts unknown. In addition to the Islamic Group, the Jihad factions regard Shaykh Omar Abdel Rahman [Sheikh Umar Abd-al Rahman] as theirspiritual leader. The goal of all Jihad factions is to overthrow thegovernment of President Hosni Mubarak and replace it with an Islamic state.


The Jihad groups specialize in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian Government officials. The original Jihad was responsible for the 1981 assassination of President Sadat. More recently, the newer jihad group ledby Zawahiri claimed responsibility for the 18 August 1993 bomb attack in Cairo, which wounded Egyptian Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi and killed five others, and the 25 November 1993 car-bomb attack in Cairo on Prime Minister Sidqi; although Sidqi was unhurt, a teenage girl was killed and 18 others were injured. Unlike the Islamic Group, [al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya] --which mainly targets mid-andlower-level security personnel, Coptic Christians, and Western tourists --the Jihad group appears to concentrate primarily on high-level, high-profile Egyptian Government officials, including Cabinet Ministers. It also seems more technically sophisticated in its attacks than the al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya--notably in its use of car bombs.


Not known, but probably several thousand hardcore members and another several thousand sympathizers among the various factions.

Location/Area of Operation

Operates mainly in the Cairo area. Also appears to have members outside Egypt, probably in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan.

External Aid

Not known. The Egyptian Government claims that Iran, Sudan, and militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan support the Jihad factions.