Thursday, June 16, 2011

Egypt-Born Ayman Al Zawahri Succeeds Bin Laden

Al-Zawahri had been seen as Bin Laden's most likely successor. His whereabouts are unknown
Ayman Al Zawahri
Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman Al Zawahri speaks from an unknown location, in this still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website June 8, 2011. (Reuters)

Cairo: Osama Bin Laden's long-time lieutenant Ayman Al Zawahri has taken command of Al Qaida after the killing of the group's founder and leader, an Islamist website said on Thursday.

Egyptian-born Zawahri had vowed earlier this month to press ahead with Al Qaida's campaign against the United States and its allies, in what appeared to be his first public response to Bin Laden's death in a U.S. commando raid in Pakistan in May.
 "The general leadership of al Qaida group, after the completion of consultation, announces that Sheikh Dr Ayman Zawahri, may God give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group," Islamist website Ansar Al Mujahideen said in a posted statement.

 Zawahri had been seen as Bin Laden's most likely successor. His whereabouts are unknown.
Believed to be in his late 50s, Zawahri met Bin Laden in the mid-1980s when both were in Pakistan to support guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. In a video message posted on the internet on June 8, Zawahri said Al Qaida would continue to fight.

 "The Sheikh (bin Laden) has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr, and we must continue on his path of jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice," Zawahri said.
"Today, and thanks be to God, America is not facing an individual or a group ... but a rebelling nation which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance challenging it wherever it is."

This news was published in The Gulf News on 16/06/2011

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