Al-Qaeda Chief: Moderate Islamists to Blame for Recent Setbacks

Muslim Brotherhood 'Too Conciliatory'

In an audiotape released today, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said that moderate Islamist factions in Egypt and Tunisia were to blame for the recent political problems in those countries.

In Egypt in particular, Zawahiri faulted the elected Muslim Brotherhood government as “too conciliatory,” suggesting that their willingness to make concessions played a big role in the July coup that ousted them from power.

Zawahiri called on more radical Islamist factions in Egypt to oust the military junta and restore the nation to Islamist rule, without the democratic “weakness” that typified the elected government.

Zawahiri also criticized the Ennahda Party, the ruling party in Tunisia which has agreed to hand over power to an interim government after the assassination of an opposition MP. Ennahda, likewise a moderate Islamist faction, was blamed for the growing violence caused by more radical factions.

In contrast with such religious conservative parties, al-Qaeda eschews political involvement and insists on backing violent takeover of nations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of