The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says a Saudi-born man who lived in the United States for more than 15 years is now believed to be chief of al-Qaida's global operations.
The agency says investigators believe 35-year-old Adnan Shukrijumah rose to the position following the 2003 capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a planner of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
FBI special agent Brian LeBlanc says Shukrijumah may be in regular contact with Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders. LeBlanc also says authorities believe Shukrijumah is actively involved in recruitment and in plotting attacks.
LeBlanc says Shukrijumah was named this year as a conspirator in the case against three men accused of plotting attacks on New York City's subway system in 2009. He is also suspected of playing a role in plotting potential attacks in Norway and Britain.
Shukrijumah is thought to be the only al-Qaida leader to have once held permanent U.S. resident status. Investigators say he lived in both New York and Florida.
He was labeled a "clear and present danger" by the U.S. Attorney General in 2004.