After the US military successfully eradicated al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Kabul on Sunday, the next terror chief is just as threatening.
Saif al-Adel is reportedly rumored to have taken the place of the group’s fallen leader. The Egyptian ex-army officer nicknames himself the “Sword of Justice” and helped to initially set up al-Qaeda in the late 1980s.
Al-Zawahiri took over from the infamous terror leader, Bin Laden who was killed by a US military operation in 2011.
Laden’s son, Hamza took over the cell for a brief period but was killed in 2019. Senior strategist, Abu Mohammad al-Masri took the helm, but was also assassinated in 2020.
Zawahiri was an Egyptian doctor who worked with Bin Laden and numerous other members of al-Qaeda to plan and implement the 9/11 attacks which resulted in the death of 3000 people.
He was killed in a counter-terrorism operation carried out in the Afghan capital of Kabul by the CIA on Sunday:
“From hiding, he co-ordinated al-Qaeda’s branches and all around the world, including setting priorities for providing operational guidance and calling for and inspired attacks against US targets,” said Biden in a national address on Monday.
Hard to overstate what a big deal this is… Al-Zawahiri’s murderous fingerprints were on all of Al-Qaeda’s biggest terror attacks for the past three decades. He’s spilled so much American blood and there was a $25m U.S. bounty on his head. Good riddance to an evil man. pic.twitter.com/s1H8rOOjjo
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 1, 2022
“Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” he added.
But while Zawahiri and many of his colleagues have been eliminated, there are always others waiting in the wings to take over the infamous, murderous terror cell.
At around 60 years of age, al-Adel is one of the youngest leaders of the group. Zawahiri had just turned 71 when he was killed.
He helped oversee the Black Hawk Down operation in 1993 which resulted in the death of 19 American soldiers in Somalia. Their lifeless bodies were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu on al-Adel’s orders.
During the same operation, al-Adel’s men took out a helicopter, killing seven including two British soldiers, a French soldier and three Turkish nationals.
While the Egyptian has for numerous years been a big name in the terror group, it is thought he may have been held prisoner in Iran and unable to take an active role in al-Qaeda’s leadership.
But now, as the group settles in a remote part of Afghanistan and run alongside the Taliban, experts including Bill Roggio from the Foundation of Defense of Democracies said he is the “likely” choice to take over from Zawahiri.
— 𝐉𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐬𝐢 (@Chahali) August 2, 2022
According to members of the Islamic terror group, al-Adel was against what they refer to as the Planes Operation – or 9/11, but he was still instrumental in using his expert military training he received while serving in the Egyptian army to help plan the worst terror attack in US history.
The mass murderer is on the FBI’s most wanted list and has a $10 million reward for any information leading to his capture.
FBI’s counter-terrorism expert, Ali Soufan declared last year that “poker faced” al-Adel could be the terror cell’s next leader:
“Al-Adel is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya,” said a statement from the FBI.
The fight against Islamic terrorism is far from over.