Within three months al-Qaeda has lost its leadership and now there is a huge unknown as to what it will be next guide of the terrorist group founded by Osama bin Laden. The Pakistani site, Arab News, has in fact spread the news that in November the historical successor of the Sheikh of Terror at the head of the jihadist group based in Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri. A hard blow to the organization’s image, given that in recent days the New York Times had spread the news of the killing, three months ago, of the number two of al-Qaeda, Abu Mohammed al-Masri, surprised by an ambush organized by the Mossad Israeli, with the approval of Washington, on the streets of Teheran.
According to the reconstruction provided by the Pakistani portal, which also interviewed four members of national security Islamabad, two of which confirmed death, the summit de Base died at age 69 for cause naturali. Specifically, a source close to the terrorist organization explained, al-Zawahiri is dead “In the Ghazni area”, in Afghanistan, largely controlled by militiamen Taliban, and to kill him was theasthma and the lack of proper care due to his ten-year inaction in the most remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. His disappearance, if confirmed, however, occurred recently, given that his last video appearance is dated 11 September, on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and al Pentagon. Another source inside al-Qaeda told reporters that their leader died in November and that the funeral only a very limited number of people were present. Version also confirmed by some members of Pakistani intelligence.
The two respondents belonging to secret services who could not confirm the death of the number 1 of the group, however, stated that his precarious health conditions were known: “From what I know – one of them told journalists – it was very sick and had kidney problems. Could not undergo dialysis, but I have not yet received confirmation of his death “.
The group loses its leadership: there is the risk of an internal struggle for power
First it was Osama bin Laden, killed in the infamous American blitz of 2011 in his lair of Abbottabad, in Pakistan, then to his son Hamza, in 2019, considered the heir who would have given way to a generational change in the organization after the passing of the baton at the hands of al-Zawahiri. Now, after the death of the Egyptian doctor, one of the main ideologues of the organization, and of al-Masri, it remains to be understood who will take over the terrorist group.
What appears likely is that the transition, as often happens in these cases, does not happen in a peaceful way, generating a hard internal feud which could also lead to splits, already registered over the years, as the famous division that gave birth to the Islamic state in Syria, a branch of the then Qaedist group Jabhat al-Nusra. Among the names circulated for the succession is that of Saif Al-Adl, at the head of the Shura, the council of the group and a longtime member of al-Qaeda since its inception. He too, like al-Zawahiri, is an Egyptian and a former militant of the Islamic Jihad, a historic Egyptian terrorist group that has supplied numerous fighters and leaders to al-Qaeda.