Zawahiri's al-Qaeda to Focus Outside US He is expected to go after American and Western targets overseas By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jul 19, 2011 2:31 PM CDT 22 comments Comments This video frame grab shows Ayman al-Zawahiri. (AP Photo/IntelCenter) (Newser) – Now that Ayman al-Zawahiri is in charge of al-Qaeda, the group is likely to shift its focus away from attacks on US soil and toward much easier hits on US targets overseas, US officials and experts tell the Wall Street Journal. “I would not be surprised to see potentially 1990s-style attacks at the US embassies and consulates overseas whether it's in Pakistan or Africa or possibly even Afghanistan,” said a political scientist writing a book on al-Qaeda. The shift will likely make al-Qaeda's operation's tougher to track and thwart, the expert said. It also brings the main organization closer to the MO of its increasingly influential Yemen spin-off, which aims to strike whenever and wherever possible. Osama bin Laden, by contrast was obsessed with attacking the US directly—a fixation that irked some of his followers.