Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN)
al-Qa’ida in Egypt
Muhammad Jamal journeyed to Afghanistan in the late 1980s where he trained with al-Qa’ida (AQ) and learned how to construct bombs. Upon returning to Egypt in the 1990s, Muhammad Jamal became a top military commander and head of the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), then headed by AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Jamal has been arrested multiple times by Egyptian authorities for terrorist activities and was incarcerated for years in Egypt. Muhammad Jamal has developed connections with al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), AQ senior leadership, and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leadership including Nasir 'Abd-al-Karim 'Abdullah al-Wahishi and Qasim Yahya Mahdi al-Rimi.
Jamal formed the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN) after his release from Egyptian prison in 2011 and established several terrorist training camps in Egypt and Libya. AQAP has provided funding to the MJN and Jamal has used the AQAP network to smuggle fighters into training camps. Suicide bombers have trained at MJN training camps, and Jamal established links with terrorists in Europe.
Observers have speculated that the Sinai Peninsula will or already has become a haven for foreign fighters intent on carrying out jihad. The Sinai is not yet an area of foreign jihadi activity. Like the low-level insurgency of the 1990s, however, the evidence suggests that violence in the Sinai is largely an Egyptian affair. Several al-Qaeda-inspired and/or al-Qaeda-linked groups operate in the Sinai. These include Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Ansar Jerusalem), al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula (AQSP) and Ansar al Jihad, the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN), the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), Al Salafiya Al Jihadiya in Sinai (Salafi Jihadist Movement in the Sinai), and al Tawhid wal Jihad, among others. In addition, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has established a presence in the Sinai.
Muhammad Jamal has used the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network to smuggle fighters into MJN training camps. Suicide bombers are being trained at MJN training camps, and Muhammad Jamal has established links with violent extremists in Europe. Muhammad Jamal set up a training camp in Libya where Libyan and foreign violent extremists were trained. Some of the attackers of the US Mission in Benghazi on 11 September 2012 have been identified as associates of Muhammad Jamal, and some of the Benghazi attackers reportedly trained at MJN camps in Libya.
Jamal was re-arrested by Egyptian authorities in November 2012. His confiscated computer contained letters to al-Zawahiri in which Jamal asked for assistance and described MJN’s activities, including acquiring weapons, conducting terrorist training, and establishing terrorist groups in the Sinai. Before he was arrested in November 2012, Muhammad Jamal was the leader of the Nasr City Cell (the Cell), whose members have been accused of plotting terrorist attacks inside Egypt. Raids against the Cell in October 2012 recovered a large amount of weapons, explosives, and related material.
The Department of State designated the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN) and founder, Muhammad Jamal, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists on October 7, 2013 under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
The Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN) was listed by the UN Security Council on 21 October 2013 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 2083 (2012) as being associated with Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to”, and “recruiting for; or otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01), Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (QE.A.129.10.) and The Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (QE.T.14.01.). MJN is controlled by Muhammad Jamal Abd-Al Rahim Ahmad Al-Kashif (QI.A.318.13).
MJN is connected to Al-Qaida senior leaders, including Aiman al-Zawahiri, and AQAP leaders Nasir ‘abd-al-Karim ‘Abdullah al-Wahishi (QI.A.274.10.) and Qasim Yahya Mahdi al-Rimi (QI.A.282.10.). MJN is also connected to The Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
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