Al-Qaeda appoints 'Sword of Justice' Al-Adel as its interim operational head
Al-Qaeda has reportedly appointed Egyptian veteran militant Saif al-Adel as its interim operational head before finally appointing deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahri as Osama Bin Laden's successor.
The Daily Mail quoted Bin Laden's former associate Noman Benotman, who is now an analyst with Britain's Quilliam Foundation think tank, as saying that the move has been taken because it is taking time to obtain pledges of loyalty to Al-Zawahri from the far flung affiliates and branches of al-Qaeda.
"This role that he has assumed is not as overall leader, but he is in charge in operational and military terms,' the paper quoted Benotman, who has spoken to jihad contacts, as saying.
"This has happened in response to the impatience displayed by jihadists online who have been extremely worried about the delay in announcing a successor.t is hoped that now they will calm down. It also paves the way for Zawahri to take over," he added.
Al-Adel's name means 'sword of justice' in Arabic, and he is believed to have opposed the 9/11 terror attacks because it was too provocative and likely to cause a devastating US response.
He had reportedly helped to plan the bomb attacks against American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and set up training camps in the 1990s.