Thursday, June 16, 2011

Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri succeeds Osama bin Laden

Al Qaeda has reportedly chosen Ayman al-Zawahri as its new head, succeeding Osama bin Laden who was killed in a U.S. forces raid in Pakistan last month.

Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri succeeds Osama bin Laden as new leader | Photo source: Youtube

The announcement of the longtime deputy of Osama bin Laden as the new Al Qaeda leader was posted on a website known to be affiliated with the militant group.

Here are excerpts of said announcement courtesy of the Associated Press:
"Loyalty to the good martyrs and to the legacy of Sheik Osama bin Laden means continuing down the path of Jihad for God's sake and for the triumph of Muslims, the general command of al-Qaida and, after consultation, declares Abu Mohammed, Ayman al-Zawahri, God help him, is now the one leading the group."

"We seek the help of God to preach the true religion, to incite the nation to get ready and fight to fulfill the duty of fighting the infidels who aggress on the land of Islam, led by America and its spoiled child Israel, to fight them with all our might."
Egyptian-born physician and surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri is the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), an organization that opposes the secular Egyptian Government and seeks its overthrow through violent means. In 1998, EIJ reportedly merged with Al Qaeda.

Al-Zawahri is believed to be the "operational brains" behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. The U.S. government is currently offering up to $25 million for information that would lead to al-Zawahri's apprehension.

Born on June 19, 1951, al-Zawahri grew up in an upper-class neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt. He is said to be the son of a prominent physician and grandson of renowned scholars.

Here's a video report of Al-Zawahri's appointment as new Al Qaeda leader from PBS News Hour:

Al-Qaida Officially Shifts Power to Ayman al-Zawahri | Video courtesy of "PBSNewsHour" of Youtube