Amid reports of a power struggle to succeed him, al Qaeda’s late leader looks to have spoken from beyond the grave.
A recording purportedly made by Osama bin Laden shortly before he was killed has appeared on Islamist websites. In it, he praises revolutions sweeping the Arab world.
Informed sources suggest the terror network’s new number one, for now at least, is Saif al-Adel. An Egyptian former special forces officer, he is said to be a leading al Qaeda military commander.
Whether or not he is caretaker leader, bin Laden’s long-time right-hand-man, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri is frontrunner for the permanent post. He, though, is seen as lacking bin Laden’s oratorical skills and charisma.
Born in Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden had Yemeni roots.
In the wake of his death, al Qaeda’s active regional wing in Yemen is said to be pushing for more influence. Some doubt that militants there will swear allegiance to either Adel or Zawahiri, preferring a leader from the Arabian Peninsula.