Saif al-Adel, an Iran-based Egyptian, has grow to be the top of Al-Qaeda following the July 2022 demise of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the US State Division stated Wednesday.
“Our evaluation aligns with that of the UN — that al-Qaeda’s new de facto chief Saif al-Adel is predicated in Iran,” a state division spokesperson stated.
The United Nations report launched Tuesday stated that the predominant view of member states is that Adel is now the group’s chief, “representing continuity for now.”
However the group has not formally declared him “emir” due to sensitivity to the issues of the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan, who have not needed to acknowledge that Zawahiri was killed by a US rocket in a house in Kabul final yr, in response to the UN report.
As well as, the UN report stated, the Sunni Islamist Al-Qaeda is delicate to the problem of Adel residing in largely Shiite Iran.
“His location raises questions which have a bearing on Al-Qaeda’s ambitions to claim management of a world motion within the face of challenges from ISIL,” the UN report stated, referring to a different title for the rival Islamic State group.
Adel, 62, is a former Egyptian particular forces lieutenant-colonel and determine within the outdated guard of Al-Qaeda.
He helped construct the group’s operational capability and educated among the hijackers who took half within the September 11, 2001 assault on the US, in response to the US Counter Extremism Mission.
He has been in Iran since 2002 or 2003, at first below home arrest however later free sufficient to make journeys to Pakistan, in response to Ali Soufan, a former FBI counter-terrorism investigator.
“Saif is among the most skilled skilled troopers within the worldwide jihadi motion, and his physique bears the scars of battle,” Soufan wrote in a 2021 article for the West Level Combating Terrorism Heart’s CTC Journal.
“When he acts, he does so with ruthless effectivity,” he stated.