Al Qaeda No.2 Zawahiri the new operational leader: State DepartmentMay 1st, 2009 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 1 (ANI): The US State Department has said that al Qaeda’s No.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has emerged as the terrorist outfits operational leader, having a similar 25 million dollars prize money on his head as Osama bin Laden.
Despite years of the Bush administration claims that Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor turned Osama bin Laden deputy, was on the lam with his boss and unable to exert control, this was not true according to the State Department report.
“Al Qaeda has reconstituted some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities” in Pakistan’s tribal safe haven on the Afghan border, replaced lost lieutenants and achieved “the restoration of some central control by its top leadership, in particular Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the annual Country Reports on Terrorism said.
“Although bin Laden remains the group’s ideological figurehead, Zawahiri has emerged as al Qaeda’s strategic and operational planner,” the Daily News quoted the report, as saying
The new assessment wasn’t a surprise to terror experts, since Zawahiri put out 12 audio and video messages last year and four this year, including one last week.
“As important as it is to neutralize al Qaeda’s top leaders, you also have to maintain an unblinking focus on disrupting its operations,” said Kenneth Wainstein, a top George W. Bush homeland security adviser now with the O’Melveny and Myers law firm. (ANI)
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- Despite split reports, al-Zawahiri could be new Al Qaeda boss - May 07, 2011
- Al-Qaeda says it is holding US hostage (Second Lead, Changing dateline) - Dec 02, 2011
- Al-Zawahiri, who calls Pakistan a US colony, to head Al Qaeda (Roundup) - Jun 16, 2011
- CIA air strikes have driven 9/11 al-Qaeda kingpins in Pak terror belt underground: Obama - Sep 11, 2010
- Who runs Al Qaeda 'barely matters': US - Jun 17, 2011
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bans Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri book - Nov 11, 2010
- Who runs Al Qaeda barely matters: US (Lead) - Jun 17, 2011
- Al Zawahiri next target, but Pakistan may not be told - May 09, 2011
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