Ayman al-Zawahri in 2005, when he was Osama bin Laden’s deputy.
Ayman al-Zawahri is the new leader of al-Qaida, according to a statement attributed to the group’s leadership. Zawahri, the “obvious choice,” says the BBC, was a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. The 60-year-old native of Egypt is believed to be hiding out somewhere in the notorious Af-Pak hinterlands. —PZS
In the statement, al-Qaeda “announces that Sheikh Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God guide him, assumed responsibility as the group’s amir [leader]”.
It warned it would continue to fight a jihad or holy war against the US and Israel under his direction.
The statement posted on a militant website was attributed to al-Qaeda’s General Command and was disseminated by the al-Fajr Media Centre, the media wing of al-Qaeda Central.