Egypt's Al-Jihad Group Changes Course
Egypt's leading Al-Qaeda faction has published a series of articles in two Arabic language newspapers criticizing the religious justifications for Jihad.
In "Revisions," Al-Jihad Group's founder and ideological father, Sayed Imam El-Sawahri, renounces violence and calls for an end to militant operations in Muslim countries.
In the pamphlet, Sayed Imam argues that the targeting of all civilians and tourists is violation of Sharia, or Islamic Law.
The author, who is better known by his underground name Dr. Fadl, published the "Foundations of Preparation for Holy War," which provided the original fodder for militant Islamic ideologies that have emerged over the last several decades.
Sayed Imam's Al-Jihad group is partially responsible for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and the Luxor massacre in 1997.
Triggering an Internal Debate?
The fact that Sayed Imam holds such prominence within the jihadist community means the Revisions may trigger a re-think among Arab jihadist groups.
Sayed Imam's very public shift is also likely to rekindle a debate in radical academic and religious circles about the rules of armed jihad.
The Revisions is primarily aimed at preventing future attacks in Muslim countries and it is doubtful they will affect Al-Qaeda operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.