Sucesión de Al-Qaeda infographic
El gráfico muestra cuatro posibles nuevos líderes de Al Qaeda.


La sucesión incierta de Al-Qaeda

By Duncan Mil

La muerte de Ayman al-Zawahiri posiblemente cambiará la estrategia de “enemigo lejano” de Al-Qaeda y sus afiliados – con ataques contra EUA y sus aliados occidentales, a quienes considera como la causa de todos los problemas en Oriente Medio.

After U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011, al-Zawahiri played a crucial role in decentralising the group, which resulted in numerous Al-Qaeda franchises emerging.

These include Al Shabaab, which controls large areas of rural Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in West Africa -- in particular Mali -- and the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

“He accepted major new players in the Al-Qaeda network,” Hans-Jakob Schindler, director of the NGO Counter-Extremism Project and a former UN advisor, told Agency France Press.

Analysts say the most likely successors include Saif al-Adel, a former Egyptian special forces lieutenant-colonel and figure in the old guard of Al-Qaeda.

“Zawahiri was not involved in the day-to-day decision-making of the affiliates... but you need a figurehead with a certain prominence and seniority because all the heads of all the affiliates need to swear personal loyalty to him,” said Schindler. “So replacing him is going to be a challenge.”

Also running is Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, a Moroccan-born national who heads the media arm Al Sahab and coordinates activities with Al-Qaeda’s regional affiliates in West Africa, the Caucasus and India. Al-Maghrebi is the son-in-law of al-Zawahiri.

Other potential leaders include Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi (also known as Yazid Mubarak), the leader of AQIM, and Ahmed Umar (also known as Ahmad Diriye), the leader of Al Shabaab since 2014.

PUBLISHED: 03/08/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images, FBI