The Rise Of The Salafis

Political Islam's radical fringe is using new freedoms to disrupt the transition to democracy. Will it ruin the promise of the Arab Spring?

Moises Saman/Magnum for TIME

Mohamed Omar Abdel-Rahman (center) at the site of a permanent sit-in near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo where supporters of the Sheikh are protesting his imprisonment in the United States.

In the 13 months that Mohammed Abdel-Rahman has been protesting outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, he has become so familiar to American officials that they sometimes stop at his small open-air sit-in to exchange pleasantries with him.

Never mind that he is the son of Omar Abdel-Rahman, better known as the Blind Sheik, jailed in North Carolina for his role in a plot to bomb several targets in the U.S., or that Mohammed himself was captured in Afghanistan 10 years later and imprisoned in Egypt until the fall of 2010, or even that he is a prominent member of the...