Brother of al-Qaida leader acquitted of terror

March 19, 2012 - 12:36 PM

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian military court has acquitted the brother of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri of terror charges 10 years after he was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia.

Mohammed al-Zawahri was among eight former militants acquitted Monday of similar charges. They included Mohammed al-Islambouli, brother of Khaled al-Islambouli who took part in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

The eight were members of Islamic Jihad and other militant groups that waged an insurgency against the government in the 1980s and 1990s before they were crushed by security forces.

Encouraged by the political ascent of Islamist groups, they are among scores of militants who have trickled back to Egypt since last year's ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.