Home > Terrorism, World News > Al-Qaida names chief to replace bin Laden

Al-Qaida names chief to replace bin Laden

Al Qaeda names Adel as interim chief: Al Jazeera
Some analysts have expressed surprise that Egyptian militant Saif al-Adel has been tapped to lead.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda has appointed an Egyptian militant as
temporary leader and named a new head of operations following the
killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos, al Jazeera reported on
Wednesday, citing its own correspondent.
In a brief news flash, the Arab satellite channel said Saif al-Adel was
named interim leader and Mustafa al-Yemeni, whose surname hints he is
from Yemen, would direct operations.
The channel is seen as having good contacts with militants in
Afghanistan and Pakistan and was the main conduit for bin Laden to
release messages to the media.
“I think it’s more for show than anything else. It is to illustrate to
the world that they have a temporary leader,” Dubai-based security
analyst Theodore Karasik said of Adel.
“Adel clearly has operational experience but he does not have the intellectual or charismatic side that bin Laden had.”
U.S. special forces shot dead Al Qaeda leader bin Laden in his hideout
outside the capital of Pakistan earlier this month, almost 10 years
after the September 11 attacks of 2001 killed around 3,000 people in the
United States.
U.S. prosecutors say Adel is one of al Qaeda’s leading military
commanders and helped plan the bomb attacks on the American embassies in
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998.
They also say he set up al Qaeda training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan in the 1990s.
But reports have suggested Adel viewed the September 11 attacks as a mistake and criticized bin Laden over them.
Mustafa Alani, a political analyst based in Dubai, said he doubted Adel
had taken on a temporary leadership role, citing past disputes between
Adel and the charismatic Saudi leader.
“This man was an opponent of bin Laden and the September 11 attacks. He
criticized bin Laden personally, describing him as a dictator who took
decisions without referring to his colleagues,” he said.
Alani also said bin Laden was a symbolic leader who did not need to be
replaced. “I am questioning the credibility of the need to replace him.
Osama bin Laden is not a leader, he’s an ideologist. The idea of
replacing bin Laden as a manager — it doesn’t work this way,” he said.

Adel was believed to have fled to Iran after the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan following September 11 and was subsequently held under a
form of house arrest there, according to some media reports.

Arab media reports said Iranian authorities released him from custody
about a year ago, and he then moved back to the Afghanistan-Pakistan
border region. Some analysts say Adel may have returned to Iran or
Afghanistan in recent weeks.
Noman Benotman, a former bin Laden associate who is now an analyst with
Britain’s Quilliam Foundation think-tank, said Adel was already a kind
of “chief of staff” who took on the role to assuage concerns by al Qaeda
activists about the group’s future.
“This role that he has assumed is not as overall leader, but he is in
charge in operational and military terms,” he said on Tuesday, adding
that Adel — who Benotman knew personally when both were active in
Afghanistan — was on good terms with Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda’s
number two figure.
“This has happened in response to the impatience displayed by jihadists
online who have been extremely worried about the delay in announcing a
successor,” he told Reuters in London.
“It is hoped that now they will calm down. It also paves the way for Zawahri to take over.”
Audio and video announcements from bin Laden largely dried up in recent
years while Zawahri recorded frequent messages. But Zawahri is seen as
lacking the charisma and oratorical skills of bin Laden, a Saudi of
Yemeni origin.
Al Qaeda has an active wing in Yemen but has not managed to establish itself in Egypt, the most populous Arab nation. 
Categories: Terrorism, World News
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