Cairo, Egypt Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader said in a new videotape aired Saturday that an Egyptian militant group has joined the terror network.
It was the first time that al-Qaida has announced a branch in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation.
The Egyptian group, Gamaa Islamiya, is apparently a revived version of a militant group of the same name that waged a campaign of violence in Egypt during the 1990s but was crushed in a government crackdown.
"We announce to the Islamic nation the good news of the unification of a great faction of the knights of the Gamaa Islamiya ... with the al-Qaida group," Ayman al-Zawahri said in the videotape aired on the Al-Jazeera news network.
The excerpts of the video played by Al-Jazeera did not mention any imminent threats of attacks in Egypt.
It was al-Zawahri's second message in just over a week and his 11th this year. The Egyptian-born militant appeared in a video on July 27, in which he called for Muslims to unite in a holy war against Israel and to join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza.