The third case of student who left their families and schools to joiin terrorist groups, either in Egypt or abroad, is ‘Ali Saad’
Al-Azhar University’s faculty of mass communication student Ali Saad was born in the city of Abu Kebir, Sharqia governorate, where he grew up in an ordinary family, which was not known for religious extremism, as his father worked as a teacher of Arabic language. Saad was the oldest of his three brothers.
At a young age, he was influenced by MB’s ideology, and then he and some of his friends joined the terrorist group, where he remained a member for nearly 13 years, before turning on MB’s ideology later on. He worked at Misr 25 TV channel before it was closed, and also participated in Rabaa sit-in, but left a day before it was dispersed by security forces. However, he was expected to return to the sit-in in order to meet with MB leaders Bassem Ouda and Osama Yassin.
His enrolment to Al-Azhar University coincided with the riots that occurred inside the university at the beginning of the new school year, choosing to take part in the MB demonstrations during that period. In 2014, security forces arrested a number of MBs, so he remained out of sight for a while, as he started to skip university lectures and stay at Misr Al-Kadema district out of fear of arrest by security forces.
During the period, he started reading books by MB leading figures and brothers Mohamed and Sayyid Qutb, in addition to Rifai Sror. He also read books by terrorism theorists, Abu Mohamed al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada. However, his former roommates said that he was moved by Shukri Mustafa and Sayyid Qutb’s books, before abandoning the terrorist group’s ideology to support IS.
He contributed to promoting IS’ publications and received a recommendation from the terrorist organization to enter its online jihadi media forum. He was also a follower of Soldiers of Egypt Salafist Islamist militant group, before supporting Al-Qaeda after he collided with IS’ ideology, which led the terrorist organization to consider him as infidel.
One of his close friends said that Saad was influenced by leading Al-Nusra Front figure Mahmoud Mohamed Maghawry who was killed in the Syrian city of Aleppo, and Adel Habara who is accused of carrying out the second Rafah massacre.
After Saad received a recommendation from Al-Nusra Front, he worked as a supervisor at Tawhid and Jihad website, before it was closed.
Saad tried to travel to Syria on several occasions, before succeeding in the past year. After he arrived there, he went to one of IS’ training camps and specialized in the manufacture of explosives, as well as becoming the terrorist organization’s press officer. He also was in contact with prominent IS leader Ahmad Salama Mabruk, who was killed in a raid earlier this year.
In his last days, he was intended to leave the terrorist organization and return to Egypt to live a normal life, but he was killed in a raid by a drone, two weeks ago.
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