Who could be the new leader of al-Qaeda?
The United States has killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike. Officials in Washington said he was killed while standing on the balcony of his home in central Kabul, Afghanistan. The killing of al-Zawahiri is considered the biggest blow to this militant group since Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.
In this text you can learn more about some of the top commanders who, according to experts, can take the leadership of the terrorist organization.
Saif al-Adel is a mysterious figure and little known to the public. He is a former Egyptian special forces officer and a senior member of Al-Qaeda.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Al-Adel is suspected of being involved in the assassination of Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, in 1981. He then left the country in 1988 to join the mujahideen war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Al-Adel, who is one of Al-Qaeda’s military chiefs and is often said to be the organization’s number three, helped plan the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. He also, during In the 1990s, he set up al-Qaeda training camps in Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 2004, al-Adel’s diary was found during raids in Saudi Arabia. His role in al-Qaeda is described as a trainer, military leader and member of bin Laden’s security team.
Before joining al-Qaeda, he was a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, which was determined to overthrow the government in that country.
Al-Adel’s name has also been linked to the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, US investigators said in a report.
Findings by Project Pearl investigators revealed that al-Adel had discussed the Pearl hijacking with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, also known as KSM and accused of being the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Al-Adel was named acting leader of Al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden.
Yezid Mebarek, also known as Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi, became the emir of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in 2020, when his predecessor was killed during raids in France.
Mebarek, from Algeria, has led media operations for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, and in 2013 he released a video calling for attacks on French interests after Paris sent troops to help quell a militant insurgency in Mali.
Mebarek, 53, is a veteran of Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s, which was fought between the government and Islamist forces. He rose in the GSPC group hierarchy.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took advantage of the chaos throughout the Sahel region and became one of the most active global networks and one of the most important branches of the terrorist group, kidnapping Western citizens and carrying out attacks throughout the territory of this region.
In a sign of his importance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Mebarek’s predecessor, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was part of the Islamist group’s central leadership under Zawahiri before he was killed by French forces in 2020.
However, analysts believe that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has lost power to new militant groups in the Sahel, which is one of the world’s most important arenas for jihadist activity. Meanwhile, Mebarek is reportedly suffering from previous injuries and lacks the charisma of his predecessor, Droukdel.
Abd al Rahman al-Maghrebi
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wants to question Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi of Morocco because of his ties to Al-Qaeda membership. He had studied software programming in Germany before moving to Afghanistan, where he was chosen to manage al-Qaeda’s main media arm, the FBI said.
He is Zawahiri’s son-in-law and a senior leader in Al-Qaeda.
Documents obtained during the operation that killed bin Laden show that al-Maghrebi has been a rising official in the al-Qaeda hierarchy for years. He has served as the general manager of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan./ REL