Ayman al-Zawahri

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'Credible' 9/11 Threat Hasn't Expired: Officials

Sept. 11 may have passed, but terrorist threat hasn't

(Newser) - Three words you don't want to hear in the same sentence: credible, threat, unresolved. Unfortunately, that's the word out of the National Counterterrorism Center. USA Today reports that NCC director Matthew Olsen, along with Janet Napolitano and Robert Mueller, today told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that while... More »

Al-Qaeda Drops Posthumous Osama Video

Video intended to mark anniversary of 9/11 attacks

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda celebrated the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by releasing a 62-minute video that included a message from deceased former leader Osama bin Laden along with one from current chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, the SITE Intelligence group tells the AFP . In the video, titled “The Dawn of Imminent Victory,”... More »

Zawahiri's al-Qaeda to Focus Outside US

He is expected to go after American and Western targets overseas

(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... More »

Leon Panetta: al-Qaeda Defeat 'Within Reach'

Terror group is down to 20 or so key leaders

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda, lately without its late leader Osama bin Laden, is on the ropes and defeat of the terror group is "within reach," Leon Panetta said today. En route to his first trip to Afghanistan since taking office, the new defense secretary told reporters that intelligence from Abbottabad indicated... More »

'Arrogant' Zawahiri Could Be Bad News for al-Qaeda

Former No. 2 lacks charisma, may struggle to rebuild organization

(Newser) - Ayman al-Zawahiri's new gig as al-Qaeda's leader could actually spell trouble for the organization—most of all because he’s cantankerous. “He was arrogant, angry, and extreme in his ideas,” the son of Osama bin Laden's mentor, who met Zawahiri in the 1980s, tells the... More »

Zawahiri Takes bin Laden's Job

Longtime No. 2 gets expected promotion

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda has officially filled the opening left by Osama bin Laden, announcing that Ayman al-Zawahiri will take over as head of the terror organization. The move was widely expected, as Zawahiri had long served as bin Laden's second-in-command. “The general command of al-Qaeda announces, after consultations, the appointment... More »

Al-Qaeda Picks Egyptian as Interim Leader

Saif al-Adel may be placeholder for Zawahri

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda has yet to name a successor to Osama bin Laden, but CNN reports that a "caretaker" leader is in place. He is identified as Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian who has been in the group's upper echelon for years. Even al-Qaeda has to worry about politics, apparently: Adel... More »

Zawahri Too Divisive to Lead al-Qaeda?

Despite strong credentials, al-Qaeda No. 2 lacks bin Laden's charisma

(Newser) - Longtime bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahri has been generally assumed to be next in line for the leadership of al-Qaeda. But while the Egyptian surgeon has the smarts and the ideology, he lacks Osama bin Laden's charisma and is divisive to many in the terrorist organization, reports the Washington ... More »

US Tried to Kill al-Qaeda's Awlaki in Yemen

Drone strike yesterday missed target

(Newser) - The US nearly had an ever bigger week against terrorism leaders: A drone strike in Yemen yesterday was meant to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who has emerged as a top al-Qaeda leader, reports the Wall Street Journal . The missile did not hit its target, US and Yemeni officials... More »

As al-Qaeda Looks to Prove Itself, US Braces for Hit

Zawahiri expected to try to prove terror group is still powerful

(Newser) - Any terror plans that al-Qaeda and its affiliates may have had in the pipeline are likely to be sped up in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, counter-terrorism officials warn. Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's second-in-command, is expected to launch a strike to prove that al-Qaeda is still... More »

Meet al-Qaeda's No. 2: Ayman al-Zawahri

Ayman al-Zawahri likely to step up

(Newser) - With Osama bin Laden dead, al-Qaeda "Chief Operations Officer" Ayman al-Zawahri will most likely take over the terrorist organization. But with al-Qaeda so decentralized and loosely linked, bin Laden's death is not likely to have many immediate effects, writes Nicholas Kristof on his New York Times blog . Bin... More »

WikiLeaks Reveals al-Qaeda Bigwigs' Location on 9/11

Docs unveil bin Laden hideouts, tension within group

(Newser) - On 9/11, the bulk of al-Qaeda’s leadership was gathered in a single place: Karachi, Pakistan. One key figure was in a hospital following a tonsillectomy; another was preparing for a biological weapons program; and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was with other leaders in a safe house, watching the attacks on... More »

Tunisia Appoints New PM

al-Qaeda urges Tunisians, Egyptians to rebel against new leaders

(Newser) - Interim Tunisian President Foued Mebazaa has appointed a new prime minister following the resignation of Mohammed Ghannouchi, who bowed to protesters' demands and stepped down yesterday, the BBC reports. Former foreign minister Beji Caid-Essebsi will take Ghannouchi's place, although it's not clear whether the appointment will be enough to mollify... More »

Arab Awakening Embarrasses Al-Qaeda

Jihadis had nothing to do with any of this

(Newser) - Change is sweeping across the Middle East, and you can bet al-Qaeda is grinding its teeth over it. Why? “Because Jihadists have played no role whatsoever in the great revolution,” writes Yassin Musharbash for Der Spiegel . The uprisings have exposed the fact that, “contrary to the propaganda... More »

Bin Laden in House, Not Cave: Official

Al-Qaeda bosses living comfortably in Pakistan, says NATO insider

(Newser) - “Nobody in al-Qaeda is living in a cave”—instead, Osama bin Laden and other top figures are likely to be living rather comfortably in houses in Pakistan, under the protection of locals and some Pakistani intelligence, a NATO official tells CNN . Bin Laden has likely been roaming from... More »

Al-Qaeda No. 2 Mocks Obama

Al-Zawahri taunts: 'Can you promise your hordes will return safely?'

(Newser) - In an audio message posted online today, Al-Qaeda's second-in-command taunts President Obama for saying that the US would prevail in Afghanistan, Reuters reports. Experts attribute the recording to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who refers to the president's March visit, saying, "Poor Obama comes to Kabul and he promises that Taliban shall... More »

Next al-Qaeda Attempt 'Certain' Within 6 Months

US remains focus for bin Laden, top deputy, intelligence chief says

(Newser) - An attempt by al-Qaeda or one of its affiliates to attack the US is “certain” within the next six months, the director of national intelligence told a Senate committee today. As long as Osama bin Laden and his top deputy are on the loose, Dennis Blair says, US targets... More »

CIA Thought Double Agent Was Key to al-Qaeda

Balawi was agency's best hope in years

(Newser) - The CIA was more optimistic than they had been in years about finding al-Qaeda's leaders—until their Jordanian double agent turned out to be a triple agent, officials say. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi—who killed seven CIA operatives and one Jordanian when he blew up himself up last week—established... More »

CIA Suicide Bomber Was Double Agent

Agency thought Jordanian was spying on al-Zawahiri for US

(Newser) - The suicide bomber who killed seven senior CIA officials last week was a double agent the CIA thought was hunting down Ayman al-Zawahiri for the US. Intelligence officials tell NBC the culprit was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a doctor and al-Qaeda sympathizer arrested by Jordanian officials more than a year... More »

Bush Team Blew Chance to Nab Osama

Al-Qaeda leader was at Tora Bora, but Rumsfeld let him get away

(Newser) - The Bush administration had a golden opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden in December of 2001, and it didn’t even try, writes John Kerry. The historical record is by now crystal clear: bin Laden and his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were trapped at Tora Bora—bin Laden even wrote... More »

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