Death of the Chief Al QaedaAyman al-Zawahiri’s US drone strike in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has sparked interest in who could now take over the leadership of the terrorist organization.
Egyptian-born Sayf al-Adl is the most likely candidate. He was the only survivor of a group of five veterans Al QaedaNamed al-Zawahiri’s successor in the past, he is now often claimed as the successor.
But there may be a problem.
Al-Adl is currently believed to be living under restrictions in Iran – a country Al Qaeda considered as a serious enemy.
Company member Al Qaeda And Osama bin Laden’s trusted lieutenant, al-Adl is a mysterious figure — and a respected veteran of the jihadist cause.
He’s still a person of interest to U.S. authorities: He’s on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists List,” and the agency is offering a $10 million reward for information on his whereabouts.
He was accused of involvement in the simultaneous bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in August 1998, which killed more than 220 people.
But he also opposed the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
In a February 2021 document, researchers at the US military academy known as West Point, Al-Adl and other key figures Al Qaeda Fears that a large-scale attack on American soil would trigger a strong response—eventually correctly predicted—would include an invasion of Afghanistan, which had hitherto been a safe haven for American agents. Al Qaeda.
Al-Adl was a key ally of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and his deputy Zawahiri.
In the past, al-Adl has written extensively on a variety of topics including “security and intelligence”, war and revolutions.
Information about the life of Al-Athl Al Qaeda There are even fewer. According to the FBI, the next possible leader of the organization was born on April 11, 1963 or 1960.
Despite its position inside Al QaedaHe mostly kept a low profile and rarely appeared in the group’s promotions.
There are also doubts about his true identity; Its name Sayf al-Adl (Sword of Justice in Arabic) is probably a noun.
West Point researchers say al-Adl is often misidentified as former Egyptian special forces colonel Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi.
He is best known for fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan alongside bin Laden in the 1980s. Al Qaeda was being established.
Al-Adl later moved to Somalia, where he trained fighters fighting the US intervention in the Somali civil war. The campaign was made famous by the shooting down of two US MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters by rockets in Mogadishu – which later became the subject of the 2001 Hollywood blockbuster Surround.
One of the rockets is believed to have been fired by a Tunisian member of al-Adlin’s force.
Al-Adl returned to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s as the Taliban consolidated control of the country. After the US invasion in 2001 he left again and headed a group of US agents. Al Qaeda In Iran.
He is believed to have been arrested by Iranian authorities in 2003 and is said to have been released along with several other members Al Qaeda In a prisoner exchange after 12 years.
Despite his long imprisonment, al-Adl remained an influential figure Al Qaeda and helped cement al-Zawahiri’s leadership after bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.
However, his own coronation may be more complicated: American terrorism expert Colin B. Clark says al-Adl is still in Iran and living under “semi-house arrest.”
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Not only is it almost inconceivable that he could effectively lead a global jihadist group while living under restrictions in a Shiite state, there are also concerns about his safety.
Another high profile member Al QaedaAbu Muhammad al-Masri was killed in a covert operation by Israeli commandos in Tehran in 2020.
Who is Ayman al-Zawahiri?
If not al-Atl, then who?
The list of other candidates is short, many prominent figures Al Qaeda The same fate befell Zawahiri over the years.
It is possible Al Qaeda Search for a leader in Somalia (Al-Shabaab), one of the leaders of its regional affiliates in Yemen (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) or Mali (Support Group for Islam and Muslims or JNIM).
While such a solution is unprecedented, it should not come as a huge surprise to an organization that has become increasingly decentralized under Zawahiri.
In 2013, it was widely reported that the leader Al Qaeda In the Arabian Peninsula, Nasir al-Wuhayshi was appointed deputy to Zawahiri. Although that was not the case with al-Wuhayshi, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, it may suggest that regional leaders are in contention for central leadership roles.
Zawahiri’s chosen successor will face the same difficulty of keeping a low profile for fear of being targeted by the US.
This text has been published https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-62429807
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