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Al-Qaeda has appointed Egyptian Saif al-Adel as interim leader of the group's armed operations, according to a Libyan terrorist expert who has a past that Islamist guerrilla wars.
In the longer term there may be al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri, also from Egypt, who will assume the leadership of the organization. The need for an interim leader has arisen because it takes time to ensure that al-Qaida's many sub-groups swear loyalty to al-Zawahri. It claims Noman Benotman, who today works as an analyst for the British think-tank Quilliam Foundation. He has a past as a radical Islamist and guerrilla leader, but distanced himself from terrorism in 2001. The information that Saif al-Adel has been al-Qaida's interim leader, coming from Benotmans own sources in a variety of extreme Islamist groups. The assertion is confirmed by the Pakistani newspaper The News, referring to information from unnamed sources. Saif al-Adel is believed to be one of al-Qaeda's top military leaders. He is allegedly a former special soldier in the Egyptian military, and even before Osama bin Laden was killed, he must have acted as a sort of chief of staff of al-Qaeda.