Open main menu

The Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa'al al-Fateh) is a terrorist organization that was originally founded in 1993 as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad operating in Somalia, but became a separate faction that eventually folded back into the group under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri.[1] The revived group is currently led by Magdy Salem.[2] The group has intervened to stop jihadis in the Sinai Peninsula from attacking Israel.[3]


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,[4] and three months later a similar bombing aimed at Prime Minister Atef Sedki, which killed a teenage girl at a bus stop.[5]

In late May 1995, Hassan al-Turabi met with al-Zawahiri to discuss the future of the Vanguards of Conquest; now to operate solely out of Egypt.[6] al-Zawahiri and Mstafa Hamzah organised a meeting in Ferney-Voltaire on the French-Swiss border, attended by a colleague of Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim, an associate of Showqi Al-Islambouli and the son of Said Ramadan.[6] The group decided to focus their efforts on Addis Ababa, and that their veteran members would come together under the leadership of Islambouli.[6]

In June 1995, they launched a failed attack against President Hosni Mubarak.[7]

The leader of the Vanguards was believed to be Kamel Agiza, and Canadian officials allege that Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub was his second-in-command.[8]

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.[9][10]

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.[11]


  1. ^ USIS Washington File, May 9, 2000, "US indicts suspects in East Africa Bombings", pp 1-4.
  2. ^ "Jama'a al-Islamiya: Dozens of jihadis to join Syrian rebels within days". Egypt Independent. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  3. ^ Rahim, Ahmad (21 November 2012). "Egypt's Islamic Jihad Urges Restraint by Sinai Salafists". Al Monitor. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Al Jihad: Egypt's second largest armed Islamic movement", Agence France Presse, November 18, 1997, p. 1
  5. ^ "Jihad Group", Milnet Terrorist Group Profiles, September 21, 1998, p. 1
  6. ^ a b c Bodansky, Yossef. "Osama bin Laden", 1999
  7. ^ Terrorist Incidents, Record #7632, Iterate "Ethiopia", June 26, 1995, p. 1
  8. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub
  9. ^ Hitchens, Christopher. "No One Left to Lie To" Verso. 1999
  10. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah, February 22, 2008. Appendix A.
  11. ^ 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