Very interesting twist…
(CNN) — An Egyptian who was once a Special Forces officer has been appointed “caretaker” leader of al Qaeda in the wake of Osama bin Laden’sdeath, according to a source with detailed knowledge of the group’s inner workings.Al Qaeda’s interim leader is Saif al-Adel, who has long played a prominent role in the group…Benotman told CNN that based on his personal communications with militants and discussions on jihadist forums, al-Adel had been appointed interim chief of al Qaeda because the global jihadist community had grown restive in recent days about the lack of a formal announcement appointing a successor to bin Laden.
However, he said, the choice of an Egyptian may not sit well with some Saudi and Yemeni members of al Qaeda, who believe bin Laden’s successor should come from the Arabian Peninsula, a region that is holy to all Muslims. Bin Laden was from a wealthy Saudi family.
Get the popcorn ready…this should get interesting.
Update by Jane: In 2010 UBL named Saif Adel commander of external operations. The Montral Gazette noted at the time that,
“His strategy is to stage multiple small terror operations, using the resources of affiliates and allies wherever possible,” said Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani expert on al-Qaida..A U.S. counter-terrorism official said the idea was for “small but often attacks” that would hurt the West more than a “one-off terror spectacular”.In 2005, al-Adel wrote an al-Qaida planning document that holds clues to his thinking. The document said that Islamist movements failed because their “actions were mostly random”. It called for al-Qaida to focus on “the greater objective, which is the establishment of a state”.
Small frequent attacks is whats been going on in Yemen, which has been having a revolution to overthrow the government and establish a democratic state. Also confirmed today is the the high level of communication had been ongoing between bin Laden and al Qaeda in Yemen. See also see Saif al Adel’s ties to Iranian Revolutionary Guards and (Yemen based) UPS bomb plot .
The current leader of AQAP Nassir al Wuhayshi was declared leader of al Qaeda in the region by Ayman al-Zawahiri in November 2008. Wahishi, like Adel, spent time in Iran, starting in 2001. Wahishi was deported to Yemen in 2003 and jailed until he escaped in 2006. Adel, Saad bin Laden and his younger brother Mohammed reportedly lived in the same government guest house in Tehran for several years. Adel is thought to have been released along with Saed and relocated to Pakistan by 2010 .
Source: The Jawa Report
- Al Qaeda Chooses to Saif Al-adel as Interim Successor Osama Bin Laden (socyberty.com)
- Al Qaeda reportedly taps Saif al-Adel as successor, potentially signaling a rift (csmonitor.com)
- Egyptian Saif al-Adel now acting leader of al Qaeda, ex-militant says (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Osama bin Laden killed: Saif al-Adel acting as al-Qaeda’s ‘caretaker leader’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- The New Osama bin Laden: An Egyptian Man? (theroot.com)
- After bin Laden: who will lead al Qaeda? (longwarjournal.org)
- Bin Laden death means possible power struggle in al Qaeda (cnn.com)
- Q&A: al Qaeda’s power struggle (cnn.com)
- Al Qaeda names Saif al-Adel as interim chief: report (nationalpost.com)
- America, Meet Your New Bad Guy: Saif al-Adel Named Acting Leader Of al Qaeda (mediaite.com)