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Al-Qaeda says al-Zawahri has succeeded bin Laden

Long-time deputy to Osama bin laden, Egypt-born Ayman al-Zawahri has become head of the terror network.

In this file television image from Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden, right, listens as his top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri speaks at an undisclosed location.
In this file television image from Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden, right, listens as his top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri speaks at an undisclosed location.
Image: TEL/AP/Press Association Images

AN AL-QAEDA-affiliated website says Egypt-born Ayman al-Zawahri has succeeded Osama bin laden as head of the terror network.

Bin Laden was killed in a US commando raid in Pakistan last month.

Al-Zawahri, who will turn 60 next week, had been bin Laden’s second in command. He is believed to have been the “operational brains” behind the 11th September attacks by some, the BBC reports.

He is the son of an upper middle class Egyptian family of doctors and scholars. His father was a pharmacology professor at Cairo University’s medical school and his grandfather was the grand imam of Al-Azhar University, a premier centre of religious study.

The announcement was posted Thursday on a website known to be affiliated with the terror network.

Additional reporting by the AP

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