El-Zawahiri says allegations of Abu Ahmad's involvement in consulate attack are baseless (Photo: Reuters)
An Egyptian Islamist released from prison after the revolution was not involved in the 11 September attack on the US consulate in Libya, a local Salafist leader has said, slamming a recent US newspaper report.
Mohamed El-Zawahiri on Thursday spoke out against a Wall Street Journal article linking released former militant Mohamed Gamal Abu Ahmed to the Benghazi attack in which the US Ambassador to Libya and three other diplomatic personnel were killed.
The attack occured at the same time as demonstrations across the Islamic world against an anti-Islam film made in the US.
Speaking to a local newspaper, El-Zawihiri -- the brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman El-Zawahiri -- said the Salafist movement does not commit acts of violence and that Ahmed is innocent.
El-Zawahiri said the article, which cited Western intelligence officials, was an attempt to stir up problems between the Salafist movement and President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the more pragmatic Muslim Brotherhood.
Also freed last year in the wake of Egypt's uprising, El-Zawahiri backed September's protest at the US Embassy in Cairo but said he had nothing to do with the later breaching of the compound's walls.