Osama's replacement: Who will take command of al-Qaeda?

Cat 2011/05/03 16:51:10

Osama's replacement: Who
will take command of al-Qaeda?
  • May 3rd, 2011
    7:23 am ET


  • While the world, for the most part, continues
    celebrating the demise of al-Qaeda's notorious leader, Osama bin Laden,
    intelligence, law enforcement and military officials in the U.S. and European
    countries are wondering: Who will rise to the top of al-Qaeda's

Most likely it will be bin Laden's trusted lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, a
medical doctor who originally was a founding member of the Egyptian group known
as Islamic Jihad. According to unclassified intelligence reports, he already
serves as al-Qaeda's propaganda and communications chief and has served as an
operations commander as far back as September 11, 2001.

Most counterterrorism experts acknowledge Zawahiri as the Number Two in the
"most wanted" list released by the U.S. Department of State, and the
Pentagon offered a $25 million reward for his capture or death, or for
information leading to his capture or death.

Zawahiri was reportedly last seen in the Afghan town of Khost in October
2001, and went into hiding after the US-led armed forces overthrew the Taliban.
He originally was thought to be hiding in the mountainous regions along the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border with the help of sympathetic tribal leaders and

But since Osama was killed on May 1, 2011 in a considerably opulent manor
in Abbottabad, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, U.S. officials
believe Zawahiri may be living a similar lifestyle thanks to the help of the
Taliban and Pakistani government officials sympathetic to the jihadists'

Zawahiri was indicted in absentia in U.S. federal court for his role in the
1998 US embassy bombings in Africa, and was sentenced to death in Egypt in
absentia for his activities with the terrorist group Islamic Jihad during the

Another contender for the top spot is Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin
Laden's sons. He has been involved in al-Qaeda activities for a number of years.
In late 2001, he helped his relatives flee to Iran.

He made key decisions for al-Qaeda and was part of a small group of al-Qaeda
members involved in managing the organization from Iran, according to US
officials. He was arrested by Iranian authorities in early 2003, but recent
reports say he may have been released and made his way to Pakistan.

However, intelligence officials claim that an "adult son" of Osama Bin
Laden's was killed alongside him in the raid in Abbottabad on May 1, 2011, but
it's still unknown if it was Saad or another of bin Laden's sons.

Another contender for the Number One slot is Abu Yahya al-Libi, a/k/a Hasan
Qayid and a/k/a Yunis al-Sahrawi. He is thought to have been a member of the
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) before he joined Osama bin Laden's

He has since become al-Qaeda's leading cleric and theologian. He's
also frequently visible on al-Qaeda-released videos, basically replacing Ayman
al-Zawahri as the terror group's spokesman.

Libi is believed to have spent five years as a religion student in the 1990s.
He claims he was captured by Pakistani forces in 2002 and then sent to the U.S.
military airbase at Bagram in Afghanistan, from where he escaped in July 2005
along with three other al-Qaeda members.

Al-Qaeda named Libi as a field commander in Afghanistan, though he has styled
himself in his many videos as a theological scholar, and spoken on a variety of
global issues of importance to the group

Khalid al-Habib, born in Egypt or Morocca, was identified by U.S.
intelligence officials in a November 2005 video as al-Qaeda's field commander in
south-east Afghanistan, while Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was named as its commander in
the southwest. He is considered by many to be a sociopath who is distrustful
even of his family members.

Habib appears to have assumed overall command after the latter's capture in
2006. He was described as al-Qaeda's "military commander" in July 2008. US
military officials say he oversees al-Qaeda's military operations in Afghanistan
and northern Pakistan.

Finally, there is Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Omar, an Egyptian, who
is allegedly in-charge of al-Qaeda's chemical and biological weapons
development, and is believed capable of assuming command.

Also known as Abu Khabab, he left Egypt to fight the Soviets in
Afghanistan the 1980s. A fellow mujahideen supposedly told interrogators
that Musri was reluctant to join al-Qaeda because he disagreed with the group's
central strategy and was not an ally of Ayman al-Zawahiri, but changed his mind
in part because he needed the money.

Mursi became an instructor at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan when it was set
up in the late 1990s.In addition to teaching courses on explosives and building
IEDs (improvised explosive devices), he wrote manuals on how to make toxic
weapons and conducted a variety of experiments. Intelligence officials say he is
probably living in Pakistan.

Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board
Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for
ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's
a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political
advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights
nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In
addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and
director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the
National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the
country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief
of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and
columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's
syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator
for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah,
McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV,

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  • Tom 2011/07/07 21:14:45
    I heard its going to be al Zwahri heard al zwahri al Zawahri
  • texasred 2011/05/10 00:18:13
    eric holder muslim

    Eric Holder?
  • santa6642 2011/05/03 22:39:52
    ah the obamanation ?
  • MisterD 2011/05/03 19:19:11

    The American imman Alawki, probably.
  • Drew~PWCM~JLA~ 2011/05/03 18:50:45
    I would say Obama has a great chance there. >;)
  • No nonsense NanC...don't BS... 2011/05/03 17:43:14 (edited)
    No nonsense NanC...don't BS me!
    The head of the snake is gone, and the real power of Al Qaeda has diminished over the years.
    I think Al Alawi (sp) in Yemen may be a bigger threat because he is an American citizen and knows America ways. I think I would like to see an assassination take this man out because he
    might be the most powerful replacement for 0sama. He already has a network and followers
    in place.
  • Denny 2011/05/03 17:40:13
  • johnnywoo 2011/05/03 17:31:06
    The next idiot that wants to rule the world,Ovomit the towel head.
  • NPC johnnywoo 2011/05/03 17:42:31
    How could anyone ever trust a person that wears their laundry on their head ?!
  • johnnywoo NPC 2011/05/03 17:44:44
    Does make you wonder,why can,t they wear baseball caps...lol.
  • Cat 2011/05/03 17:28:34
  • LTMeadows214 2011/05/03 17:20:18
    Obama will take command. That is why he had Osama taken out.
  • Kane Fernau 2011/05/03 17:14:33
    Kane Fernau
    Allawi the American in Yemen
  • SAILOR 2011/05/03 17:14:23
    The new CIA director will appoint the next al-Qaeda leader. Probably another Saudi, since they are the ones who financed the 9/11 attack.
  • NPC SAILOR 2011/05/03 17:41:34
    Pannetta will be just as incompetent as Gates. Petraeus is a military academia type. He is going to the CIA ? What kind of left wing politcal pandering is OStupid planning at Ground Zero ?!
  • SAILOR NPC 2011/05/03 18:02:49
    It is all a political show to distract us from the damage congress and the potus is causing.
  • Spider20 2011/05/03 17:12:56
    I don't think it really matters.....and when that person dies (by whatever means), there'll be another....
  • Thor American EXPAT n New G... 2011/05/03 17:01:14
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    Barak H. Obama.
  • NPC 2011/05/03 16:55:54
    Maybe some Democrat or Communist sympathizer like Van Jones or Rev J Wright ?
  • Demonic Rat Hunter 2011/05/03 16:52:55
    Demonic Rat Hunter
    This one
  • NPC Demonic... 2011/05/03 16:56:32
    That is our real enemy !

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