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Founded as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1993, the Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa'al al-Fateh) were a separate faction that eventually folded back into the group under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri.[1]

In its first year, the Vanguards carried out two failed assassination attempts, the first in August, a Cairo bombing that only managed to injure Egyptian Interior Minister Hasan al-Alfi,[2] and three months later a similar bombing aimed at Prime Minister Atef Sedki, which killed a teenage girl at a bus stop.[3] In June 1995, they again launched a failed attack against President Hosni Mubarak.[4]

The leader of the Vanguards was believed to be Kamel Agiza, and Canadian officials allege that Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub was his second-in-command.[5]

In December 1998, the Vanguards of Conquest issued a communique to Islamist groups calling for attacks against the United States "for its arrogance" in bombing Iraq ostensibly to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.[6][7]

The group is alleged to have folded into Qaeda-al-Jihad when Zawahiri merged his group with Osama bin Laden in 2001. But in April 2002, Egyptian security forces arrested 30 men for allegedly planning to revive the Vanguards.[8]


  1. ^ USIS Washington File, May 9, 2000, “US indicts suspects in East Africa Bombings”, pp 1-4.
  2. ^ “Al Jihad: Egypt’s second largest armed Islamic movement”, Agence France Presse, November 18, 1997, p. 1
  3. ^ “Jihad Group”, Milnet Terrorist Group Profiles, September 21, 1998, p. 1
  4. ^ Terrorist Incidents, Record #7632, Iterate “Ethiopia”, June 26, 1995, p. 1
  5. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub
  6. ^ Hitchens, Christopher. "No One Left to Lie To" Verso. 1999
  7. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, February 22, 2008. Appendix A.
  8. ^ Extremist Groups, 2002, An international compilation of terrorist organizations, violent political groups, and issue-oriented militant movements (electronic document), 2nd Edition; Office of International Criminal Justice and the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups, Sam Houston State University, 2002, “Vanguards of the Islamic Conquest”, p .1


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