June 16, 2011

Al Qaeda names new leader

by Jan Harris

Signalling its intention to continue its terror campaign, Al Qaeda has named Egyptian militant Ayman al-Zawahiri as its new leader, six weeks after Osama Bin Laden was killed by the US.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri served as Osama bin Laden’s deputy, but he is said to be less charismatic than the former leader and is also believed to be behind plots to remove bin Laden.

Since bin Laden’s death there have been reports of in-fighting among potential leaders of the terrorist group and there is speculation that Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s leadership may be short lived.

He faces fierce opposition from his rivals within the organisation as well as the threat of a second assassination by US forces.

Zawahiri, who met Osama bin Laden in the 1980s, has been described as Al Qaeda’s chief organiser.

He has frequently acted as spokesman for Al Qaeda in videos denouncing the West and is believed to have helped to plan the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre.

Meanwhile, the US aircraft carrier that buried Osama bin Laden at sea has returned to its hope port of San Diego.

The USS Carl Vinson received a hero’s welcome on its return.

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