Osama bin Laden's former second-in-command has taken control of Al Qaida, according to statements on Islamist websites. Considered a "grey bureaucrat" and the brains behind Al Qaida's strategy, Ayman al-Zawahri "vowed this month to press ahead with Al Qaeda's campaign against the United States and its allies," reports the Associated Press. Zawahri's ascension follows a short interim stint by Saif al-Adel, who took over as "caretaker" leader in May. "The general leadership of al Qaeda group, after the completion of consultation, announces that Sheikh Dr. Ayman Zawahri, may God give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group," the Islamist website Ansar al-Mujahideen or "Followers of the Holy Warriors" said in a statement. He's a bespectacled man in his late 50s with formal training as a doctor and surgeon. He's expected to be hiding out along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And a word to all you dejected bin Laden hunters out there, Zawahri now has a $25 million bounty on his head courtesy the United States—so if you're looking for a new raison d'être, there's a good start.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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