Al-Qaedas potential next terror chief helped carry out 9/11 attacks

The secretive heir apparent to Al Qaeda has been revealed following the US killing the terror organisation's leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike.

The 71-year-old took over Al-Qaeda after Osama Bin Laden’s death in 2011 and according to US President Joe Biden, al-Zawahri was successfully killed in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The leader's death means Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian ex-army officer, is now thought to be the successor to the Al Qaeda throne.

READ MORE: US drones 'kill Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri' who took over from Osama bin Laden

Al-Adel met bin Laden and al-Zawahri at terrorist group Maktab al-Khidamat before joining the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ).

The 60-year-old oversaw the 'Black Hawk Dawn' operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, when he was 30 years old, where 19 American soldiers were killed as their bodies were dragged through the street.

Al-Adel has risen through the ranks and has become increasingly important part of Al Qaeda's strategy since the killing of Bin Laden in 2011.

With Al Qaeda based in Afghanistan, one of the only sticking points that could prevent Al-Adel taking the helm of the terror group is that he's thought to have been stuck in Iran for the past 19 years.

Al-Adel's real name is thought to be Mohammed Salah al-Din Zaidan with his moniker translating to 'Swords of Justice'.

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Al-Adel's wanted status according to US intelligence is due to him being 'wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.'

224 people died, including 12 Americans, and a further 4,500 people were wounded.

Saif Al-Adel's likely coronation as leader of Al Qaeda will only further intensify efforts to capture him.

Al-Adel's military training has been a key factor in his rise in Al Qaeda and according to ex-FBI agent and counter-terrorism expert Ali Soufan, the ex army-officer possesses a 'caustic tongue' and 'poker face'.

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His ruthlessness was a familiar attribute as Al-Adel was known to kidnap young soldiers during the night and viciously assault them to strengthen them.

President Biden may have sent out an indirect warning to the potential Al Qaeda leader-elect after his statement following al-Zawahri's death.

He said: “This terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer.

“We we make it clear again tonight. That no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide. If you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out."


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