News / Africa

Al-Qaida Names Egyptian Zawahri as New Leader

Ayman al-Zawahri (file photo)
Ayman al-Zawahri (file photo)

A Jihadist website has announced that Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, is the new leader of al-Qaida, as had been expected since the killing of bin Laden in May.

A web posting Thursday said Zawahri has assumed responsibility for the group, and that there will be no shift in al-Qaida policy. The post said the decision was taken by the general leadership of the group.

Zawahri had been tipped to lead the organization after bin Laden was killed in a U.S. operation in Pakistan six weeks ago.

An associate of bin Laden's since the 1980s, he has been described as the organizational mastermind of the operation, complementing bin Laden's inspirational and financial role.

Al-Qaida Names Egyptian Zawahri as New Leader
Al-Qaida Names Egyptian Zawahri as New Leader

Zawahri released a message earlier this month acknowledging bin Laden's death.  In it, he vowed to continue the path of jihad to expel what he called invaders of Muslim land and to purify it from injustice.

Zawahri, a doctor from a well-to-do Cairo family, first focused his anger on the Egyptian government. He led a militant group there before joining forces with al-Qaida, with its broader focus, in the late 1990s.

His June 8 message reaffirmed the group's focus of anti-Americanism.    

Zawahri said that America is not facing an individual or group, but what he termed a rebelling nation awakening to a jihadist renaissance.

Al-Qaida has been largely sidelined during the popular uprisings that have swept the Arab world in recent months, which for the most part have been calls for political and democratic change. But the organization's offshoot al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has appeared to gain ground during the unrest.

The Yemen-based group had already begun to overshadow the original, with active plots against Western targets and a charismatic leader in Anwar al-Awlaki, even before its adherents captured more territory recently in the politically-unstable Arabian nation.

That could be one of the main challenges facing Zawahri. He is described as soft-spoken and rigidly dogmatic by fellow Islamists.  Moreover, with counter-terrorism efforts greatly limiting al-Qaida's organizational efforts - Zawahri's strength - it has had to rely more on exporting ideas to adherents, usually through bin Laden.

Mohamed Salah, a political analyst with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, says he expects to see Zawahri intensify his use of the media, through audio or video messages, to fill the void.  Whether he will inspire similar loyalty is unclear.

But as for the loss of bin Laden's ability to provide for al-Qaida financially, Salah believes that the organization has long been running on very meagre resources.

Added to that, he argues, Zawahri's close contacts with the key Egyptian members of al-Qaida make him bin Laden's natural heir.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid