June 16th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Analysis: Al-Zawahiri takes al Qaeda's helm when influence is waning

Ayman al-Zawahiri's coronation as the king of al Qaeda came with some anxiety over another major attack and a barrage of questions about the future of the terror network.

Since 1998, al-Zawahiri had been Osama bin Laden's personal physician and closest confidant, a steadfast deputy who eulogized his boss after his death last month in Pakistan. But it took this many weeks for an al Qaeda announcement on its new leader, and that suggested to some analysts that there had been head-bashing over who should take the helm.

"It doesn't suggest a vast reservoir of accumulated goodwill for him," said Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst.

When the founder and leader of any organization dies, it's a challenge to thrive. In al Qaeda's case, the road ahead is lined with major bumps, especially for its newly anointed leader.

Weakened in recent years, al Qaeda has been losing a critical war of ideas and now faces another hurdle in the Arab Spring, Bergen said.

"They are two big nails in the coffin," he said.

Al-Zawahiri will have to overcome al Qaeda's troubles in spite of his personal shortcomings. For starters, he lacks the charisma and oratory of his former boss.

"He wants to inspire people, not just who are joining the al Qaeda organization, but people who have never joined the al Qaeda organization and are trying to launch attacks in their name," said Paul Cruickshank, a CNN terrorism analyst. "Without bin Laden there anymore, they won't be as inspired."

There are others in the organization, like American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who might have made a better choice. Al-Awlaki speaks English, is tech-savvy and might have been one to re-energize the network with a boost of morale and fresh recruits at a time when many believe al Qaeda's influence is waning.

And Saif al-Adel, a former Egyptian army lieutenant and long-time Islamist, was appointed the interim leader of al Qaeda after bin Laden's death.

But Bergen said al-Adel, sort of the defense minister for al Qaeda, has never been a public face for the group. He is widely believed to be managing insurgent paramilitary operations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

There are also reports describing al-Zawahiri as a prickly man who can be argumentative, divisive and difficult to work with. He has been accused of being a micro-manager who is not a true ideologue in the vein of bin Laden.

These are all qualities that do not bode well for an organization that has to re-energize itself in order to survive, analysts said.

"Very poorly respected," said former CIA Officer Phil Mudd. "He is seen as a difficult man to work with. He has no sense among the work force in al Qaeda, the kind of prestige that bin Laden had."

But as it were, al Qaeda's central command came together and talked it out until they agreed on al-Zawahiri, said Bill Roggio, military affairs analyst who is managing editor of The Long War Journal.

"He has been a very public official. He's very well known in the rank and file," Roggio said. "There's a lot of questions on how he's perceived in the ranks, but even bin Laden had his detractors."

But ultimately, Roggio said, al Qaeda closes ranks, and the group is likely to operate in a business-as-usual mode.

"Under his leadership, there really won't be that many changes," said Mark Baker, who worked for 17 years in counterterrorism at the CIA. "It's not like a corporate shakeup."

There hasn't been a successful major attack on the West since the London bombings in 2007, and experts were divided over whether al-Zawahiri will try to cement his throne with a dastardly act.

Related: Timeline: Al-Zawahiri's trail of terror

Sajjan Gohel, director of international security for the London-based counterterrorism think tank Asia-Pacific Foundation, said al-Zawahiri will have to figure out how to unite the myriad factions of al Qaeda and deal with an operational space that has been confining due to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

The organization is also suffering financially, Gohel said.

"He needs to do something to keep al Qaeda relevant in a very difficult scenario," Gohel said.

The biggest challenge may be how to gain back ideological ground in a time when pro-democracy movements are blossoming in northern Africa and the Middle East.

Al Qaeda has been opportunistic in claiming that the mass demonstrations fly in the face of Western powers, but in reality, Bergen said, the group has been rendered irrelevant in the events reverberating through the region.

"If you have freedom, al Qaeda will go away," former Egyptian jihadist Osama Rushdi said in February.

Roggio said that had bin Laden been killed shortly after the September 11 attacks, al-Zawahiri would have been taking over a less mature organization and might have had a more difficult time moving it forward.

But 10 years after those devastating attacks, al Qaeda is well-established, Roggio said. It matters less who is in charge because the middle managers - the bomb-makers, the men on the streets making the operations decisions - are entrenched in their jobs.

How important al Qaeda's top job is remains to be seen. "But it is far more established and networked today than it was," Roggio said.

Still, al-Zawhiri may not fit that easily into bin Laden's shoes.

He also takes charge after a series of recent captures and kills of al Qaeda leaders: Among them were Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the most-wanted terrorist in Africa, and Ilyas Kashmiri in Pakistan.

"Between the drone program, losing the war of ideas, their relevance, the bench depleted by captures or kills, the lack of success of attacks on the West - all these things don't suggest a great deal of strength for al Qaeda," Bergen said.

"That's the problem set al-Zawahiri inherits."

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Simon Cohen

    Looks like dead end job.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • pecu

      This guy is not very smart and had not watched Soprano movies. I bet Al-Awlaki and the rest of the cunning captains are smiling. They know that once you are the chosen leader like Bin Laden then your days are numbered. Smart move Al-Awlaki.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  2. Patriot in Berkeley

    It delights me to read the some many pro-American posts. Maybe this country still has a chance to survive.

    June 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  3. 2011 american

    Sounds to me like a vacation cruse of Death and deceit with your captain David Rockefeller . http://www.theamericancitizen.com

    June 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  4. Patriot in Berkeley

    Give the American authorities full power to spy on Islamic organizations in this country and elsewhere. Better for a few hypersensitive Muslims to get their feelings hurt than for even one American to fall victim to terrorists.

    The Left believes in freedom, but only for those who hate this country and seek to do it harm. Those of us with pro-American, pro-Israel, pro-human decency, pro-Western Civilization views need not apply.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
    • DoubleW

      "Liberals believe in freedom but only for those who hate this country..."
      Oh comeAWN, man! Do you actually stop to think how utterly stupid that sounds? I'm willing to bet that you don't know a liberal, but only parrot what Glenn Beck and otehr entertainers spout.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • Ernie

      That is ridiculous, sir. No lib would deny rightwingers their freedom in favor of any radical organization or terrorist.
      Liberals want to keep their indivudual freedoms, and are less apt to throw them away because of terrorist threats.
      When we give away OUR freedom, then the terrorists have won.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  5. Jeff Cowabunga

    Only an idiot would believe that terrorists would make a Facebook page and advertise things like this.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  6. Scrittore

    "Violent, extremist Islamists invoke on their own head the true jihad. Challenging all the peoples of the Earth, and first of all traditional Islam, professed by the overwhelming majority of the Islamic world, these forces put themselves in opposition to Islam. And reacting against them is a religious, moral, social and political duty of each Muslim."

    Sheikh-ul-Islam, Talghat Tajuddin, Supreme Mufti, Representative of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims for Russia and the East-European countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Moscow, June 28, 2001

    June 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  7. Kess

    A physician is taking the lead of a major terrorist regime? Obviously physicians in other countries do not have to take the Hippocratic oath... or maybe they do and their interpretation is to be a "hypocrite" and harm others instead of doing no harm. Fascinating. More proof humans find justification for anything.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  8. Seesperfectioninthis

    Anyone else see the perfection? Seriously, this guy already comes with a target on his forehead.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • MoneyTalks

      He probably betting more for his safety.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • DoubleW

      "Head-bashing over the election..." harhar, and he shows the results...

      June 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  9. getoverwith

    I have a son and I want the best future for him as all other moms in the world. How terrifying would it be for the Mothers to lose their child in this stupid terror attacks. I don´t know about this peoples principle but damn it, just stop already.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      hahahahha

      June 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  10. trex

    Disneyworld

    June 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • chemicalbank

      Darn! I was going to say 'Disneyland' and you beat me to it by eight minutes.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  11. MessageFromHell

    Ayman we are waiting for you. The sooner the better. Your last wish will be good to be on top of Icelandic volcano for an easy essence.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  12. MakeAFish

    Well, we got Captain Hook (Bin Laden). Time to go after Mr. Snee...

    June 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  13. Chumbly

    I am certain that on our Aircraft Carriers, that the crews can find another x-large garbage bag for the NEXT burial at sea....

    June 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  14. Furunculus

    Where will new boss take al Qaeda?

    Hopefully off a cliff...

    June 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • Joe M.

      OK, target identified. There are lessons learned from finding Osama Bin Laden that can be used to find Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Bin Laden had his family around him. Now look for Al-Zawahiri's family and that leads you to the new target. Lets put this b@st@rd out of his misery ASAP. He wants martyrdom. Lets grant his wish.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  15. brako

    9/11=jew job, until USA realizes this and takes drastic measures against jews this will never go away. Entire govt is hijacked and you wonder why germans did what they did

    June 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • michael

      Oh, please.....cut me a brako!!!!!!! Are you really that stupid? Typical follower......

      June 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Babak from LA

      Discriminate much?

      June 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Kess

      ..an obvious lack of education in anything but hate...

      June 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
    • U2ovrUS

      It's hard to tell in which toilet you have your head stuck, brako. Is it the KKK outhouse or in Arafat's PLO ditch? Maybe you
      share a two holer with Ahmadinijad?!

      June 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  16. POD

    Congratulations on your promotion.......now write two letters....................

    June 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  17. JB0281

    My best guess as to where he will lead them would be first to a nice posh house next to ....what's that military base called again? Second place would more than likely be somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • bananarep07

      Well, they could now participate in the Arab Spring by helping the rest of the world assassinate animals and butchers like Bashar and Naher Assad, Saleh, Gadhafi, and so on, in the Middle East, and in otrher parts of the world, as the case may be.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  18. Libssuk

    I'm sure obama has already set up a meet and greet with him and will profusely apologize for US behavior and offer a two for one tower bombing.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • DoubleW

      Pfffft. Yeah, just like Obama set up a "Meet and greet" with bin Laden, eh? "Meet my little friend 30mm." You Obama-haters are pitiful, can't even remember the events of last month if they don't fit into your narrow little hate-defined "reality"...

      June 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  19. bobcat2u

    This coukd end up being the best thing for us. Many of those in the organization don't like or trust al Zawhiri. The best case scenario would be that his elevation to leader will lead to severe infighting amongst al Qaeda fighters and a splinterining of the group. If it gets bad enough, we may not have to worry about taking him out like we did bin Laden. They might do it for us. Divide and conquer.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  20. NPhxAz

    Bin Ladin's doctor huh? They might need to find a guy that digs graves to run al Qaeda next.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  21. SPQR

    Cut off their supply lines.

    June 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  22. Neil

    I have lost loved ones to direct terrorist attacks, so we need to hunt down and kill all the terrorists here and abroad that have and will harm the United States. Congress and the speaker should shut up and support hunting down these people or are they condoning their actions, if so then we need to vote them out. America needs to stand together as one.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • pecu

      This guy is not very smart and had not watched Soprano movies. I bet Al-Awlaki and the rest of the cunning captains are smiling. They know that once you are the chosen leader like al -Zawahiri then your days are numbered. Smart move Al-Awlaki.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  23. americashouldlearn

    I think america should learn and stop chasing these few guys with such a big force in Afghanistan and Iraq and bring the troops home. If any of these people try to harm america then they can be simply followed and hunted down with secret forces and CIA instead of spending billions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  24. Billy Davis

    WE will find him and have him join bin Laden.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • KIY674

      He will go straight to hell to meet him.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      With a hole in his forehead............

      June 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  25. steve harnack

    Probably about the same as you make at Burgers-R-Us.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  26. 2bits

    Will get him too within 2 years......

    June 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  27. Jimmy Crack Corn

    The leadership chain is a joke. To qualify as a Al Qaeda leader you must First, grow pubs on your face. Second, wear your bath towel on your head 24/7. and Third, really really really hate America. You're hired.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  28. Ed

    At least we have a true leader as President Obams who is we know and has been proved to truly be working to find thugs like Ayman al-Zawahiri. He found bin Laden and I think its a matter of time before he finds this terrorist. It's more than I can say about the previous Repuub administration of George Dubwa Bush and the real former President (Chaney). All those two GOP Bozos could do is get us into two costly wars and nearly destroy our economy.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • j0eschm0e

      @Ed , dont be a re ta rd, you actually "think" that obama found osama him self? wow, talk about ill informed. osama was found because "BUSH" put it in motion to find him. and the same people that were tracking him, are the same people that found him under Obama admin. Obama just kept the Bush policies going. its too bad Bush hadnt found him first so people like you wouldnt have to appear so unintelligent/uninformed. dont bother replying because I wont be reading it

      June 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • U2ovrUS

        Read it or not, Joe. I don't care. The only thing you have right is your "name": S C H M O E...you probably don't even know
        what it means, you loser...

        June 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
      • Dale

        Well, under GWB, Bin Laden escaped at Tora Bora. Under Obama he did not escape but was captured. All your comment shows is that there is no accomplishment possible that would make a Republican compliment Obama or recognize his accomplishments. But if the raid had failed, which it very well could have, you would be calling Obama the next Jimmy Carter. Oh, and you hero GWB killed more Americans in his unneccessary jaunt in Iraq than have died in all Al Queda attacks combined.

        June 17, 2011 at 12:08 am |
      • Dale

        Oops, I said Bin Laden was captured. Well, technically, he was killed which isn't really "captured". But meh. Whatever works.

        June 17, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • j0eschm0e

      @Ed ... Oh we have a true leader, everyone bow-kneel, to-with Obama.... as Obama kneels with the muslims to the kuran. I have pictures of it. yet Obama doesnt hold his hand over his heart to the national anthem of the United States, nor salutes the flag of the United States. I have pictures of that also.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • Dale

        Pictures, eh? From what reliable source? Your racist chain emails? Or maybe kkk.com? Steven Colbert was right- reality does have a liberal bias.

        June 17, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  29. Osama Bin Laden

    hey guys! whats up 🙂

    June 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • NPhxAz

      Is it true that you've been recently heard asking- if there is a "doctor in the house"?

      June 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • mel

      hey there Osama, enjoying your 72 virgins?

      June 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  30. guest

    Boehner says stop picked on this guy or he'll sue the President again. A magic act worthy of Houdini. Marvel at chicken hawks turning into doves just to torque an election. Entertaining, but shameful.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  31. guest

    He's making it too easy with that bullseye on his head.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • jimbowt

      The AR – 458 SOCOM would clear that spot up nicely !

      June 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • NPhxAz

      How can the drone missile fail- if they aim right smack dab at that patch of fungus or whatever he's got culturing on his melon?! Probably a it's a patch of crud caused by a nervous condition... nervous about being greased pretty soon, like his other dirt bag friends in a dress.

      June 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  32. Mach_Five_HD

    He is now "Number 1 with a bullet"!

    June 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  33. Rick

    @Jay, I never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  34. John D

    What the heck is this garbage? Is Al Qaeda a business or something? We are treating this like
    "look their old CEO stepped down, now a new one came in I wonder what direction the company will head towards?" What is this, we seem to know A LOT more about them than they themselves are aware of. Stop the nonsense.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  35. Jay

    its funny how these "sand box players" were able to completely change america it took "19 Hijacker" for all americans to lose their privacy (patriot act).. keep drinkin the worlds most corrupt govertment's kool aid....sleep safe and sound thinking the "terrorist" were responsible for 9/11 ...

    June 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Whitey0302

      Please enlighten us. Who is responsible for 9/11 if it wasn't Osama Bin Laden?

      June 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • Dale

      9-11 truthers are reality deprived GWB haters.
      Birthers are reality deprived Obama haters.
      How about you live in real reality for a change people?

      June 17, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
  36. Larry 216

    Like Isreal dealt with PLO. every new"Leader" should be executed on sight til nobody wants to lead anymore.Then they'll change the name to al quita.

    June 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • steve harnack

      Except the Israelis didn't do away with the heads of the PLO, Arafat died in hospital in France, and the current Palestinian leadership is the old PLO, much like the leaders of Israel came from the Hanagah, the Irgun, and the Stern Gang. Sorry, you can't just make up your own version of history and then point to it as an example of whatever.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  37. Alex

    To Hell...........!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  38. Name*randito

    Team 6 will give his dusty a$$ the deep 6 too!!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  39. Natch

    You know, it's really hard to take this bozo seriously, when every time I see him, I'm reminded of Hadji, from Jonny Quest!!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • 2/8

      LOL!!! I forgot about him!!!

      June 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • Daniel

      You took the words right out of my Turbin.....

      June 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  40. Jesseca5

    I predict a short future for the Doctor. One thing that really stands out is that beautiful target birth mark in the middle of his forehead. It would look very sweet through a high power scope to one of our 50 Cal. long range snipers. Any Bets?
    Jesse in Texas

    June 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • RedBull

      Not that i have any problem by putting your .50 cal in his brain, but one thing i want to mention to you is that many religous people have that mark and its not a birth mark that you see, that comes from years of praying and putting the forehead on the rock and pray to God.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
      • Jesseca5

        Okay, so it"s not a birth mark, but by what ever name it goes by, it is still a great target. I'm just basing this on my WWII, Korea and 'Nam experience.

        Jesse in Texas

        June 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  41. Peikovian

    In the movie "Human Centipede (Jihad Sequence)" you see why it's always better to be the lead guy around there.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  42. Ichi

    That is the cheesiest heaver I have ever seen. "Security clearance", really?

    June 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Ichi

      header*

      June 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
      • Dale

        I liked your comment better with "heaver".

        June 17, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  43. @us1776

    U r an idiot!!!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  44. bozon

    Just remove the cyst.. comes from too hard head knocking during prayer.. an egotistical attempt to show piety.. just cut it out.. and off..

    June 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  45. budovalcev

    budovalcev- this is madness

    June 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  46. wow

    No! only dumb muslims are.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  47. Newbdogg

    taking bets that this guy lives past the end of the year...

    June 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • sambo

      looks like another case of lead poisoning is about to occur

      June 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  48. halifaxboi

    So called god is the downfall of this world.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • Andacar

      WINNER: Off topic atheist troll of the week.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Wrong ! it's people like you that makes the world wrong. Thank You.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • anobody

      No Human beings are. In the absence of God another item or entity would take it's place. Land, animals, property, women, men, etc... the list goes on and on. Make no mistake the belief and interpersonal problems we encounter as the human race are created and acted upon by humans and we are accountable period.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Theman

        God is the way,the truth,and the light.

        June 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • albert

      Religions that make a mockery of God (Christians, Muslims), are the real problem.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • minart

        you are an atheist, right? I don't like atheists, they don't have a goal neither a good master that leads you. You probably want to be like a soccer or basketball player. Or an actor, but they are not perfect, they have flaws, unlike god. I have met atheists and they just obey to anything that science says. They don't have "that" thing that the other people have, is something that you can't explain just with words.

        June 16, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • SconnieGuz

      Like God, if he is real, gives a damn what ANY of you think

      June 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  49. wow

    They are the utmost extremists that are getting them no where!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  50. wow

    Muslims and islam is the downfall of this world. They are the reasons there are so many wars everywhere. F'in idiots. I hate them.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • adamt

      I remember when the Muslims invaded Poland September 1, 1939. And when Gavrilo Princip killed the Archduke in 1914. I also recall the Muslim invasion of Korea and the Muslim attacks on vietnam. And the US Civil war.

      Damn them!

      June 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
      • Mario

        All the wars Muslims are involved in are in their lands. That means they're getting attacked. Who are the nations in their lands? Who is doing the attacking? UN and US to name a couple. As long as we need oil, there will always be 'terrorism' to fight.

        June 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
      • SconnieGuz

        Mario falls for the typical crybaby muslim "victim" excuse they always use. Nevermind that they have bombed the USA, bombed the UK, bombed Spain, they've infested the whole free world with their anti-freedom ideas and cry about how they are treated despite the way non-muslims are treated in muslim lands. The whole world is defending itself from islam, not the other way around.

        June 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  51. jozzz

    It's just so funny, how could people think that Bin Laden's death would mean the end of al Qaeda ? Well down mister Obama, you pissed off terrorists a bit more, and who's going to pay for it ? Civilians ! While you'll be waiting in the White House for the storm to pass ! We shouldn't follow leaders that are taking such irresponsible actions on political purposes.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      LOL@jozzz, yeah, we should have just let him go, right?

      dipshit

      June 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Mike kerns

      I can smell you're foul oder of tea party madness

      June 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Obama2012!

      So, you would prefer to allow terrorists to attack innocent civilians within our country with no consequences (that means paying for their mistakes)?

      June 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  52. halifaxboi

    Kill the shirpa

    June 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  53. Rags

    See that knot on his forehead? That's his brain trying to get fresh air. Everything else in the cranium is a vacuum.
    The tiny brain will soon die for lack of use and the fool will follow along. Good riddance!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • 88

      You can't fix stupid, stupid!

      June 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  54. Ben

    Another quick victory for the US in the War on Terror.

    Washington has done an excellent job of muddying the waters for al-Qaeda. The manipulation of the mainstream media to question the leadership of al-Qaeda has been masterful. There was never a real doubt as to who was going to take over for them. That's why Zawahiri was the "#2" or "deputy commander".

    The CIA and DOD have done an amazing job of clouding the issue by questioning (through the media) the qualities and qualifications of the various "potential" leaders. I never thought anything good could come from the professional politics of our government, but clearly I hadn't considered this.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  55. whatwhatwhatyo

    well.... if I am using my experience of watching a new boss come into play; i would see him puttin gan immediate stamp on his tenure. You want to show you are the man in charge and you would go after a major attack. Since we have been ok since 2001....... I will put my money on this man getting a missle up his A$ $.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  56. Bob

    Does he realize he has birdcrap on this forehead?

    June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  57. BRBSanDiego

    Oh yeah, the spanish "publicar" means "publish" in espanol for all of you who don't come from Mexico – just click the box. Viva la raza – down with the gringo capitalists. You just have to love our border protection – big money with no results.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  58. JtotheK

    I love how this article reads like a SWOT analysis of a legitimate gov't or organization. I half expected there to be a link to their prospectus or annual report. If we keep giving them this kind of legitimacy, pretty soon AQ will get democratically elected as gov't of some country like Hamas. Ridiculous.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      They are a legitimate organisation. We need to take them seriously in order to combat them, and a SWOT analysis is what we need.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  59. halifaxboi

    How much does a terroist make in a day anyways..any perks haha free camel and pita

    June 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  60. BRBSanDiego

    Hope he is next on the terrorist extortion list & they get to it quickly. boom boom bye bye

    June 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  61. andres

    So now he has a target on his back. Maybe this is the 'leaderships' way of getting rid of him. We will know soon enough if one of the unhappy terroists lets the US know where he is having dinner.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  62. another goddam blog

    wtf??? aren't there any actual NEWS services anymore? why do we keep having to put up with opinionated non-factual blogs on news sites these days??? this is bulls**T

    June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  63. AL

    (+)......he is in the cross-hairs.....only a matter of time.....justice may not be swift, but it is just.....

    June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  64. ajd041

    Another one ughh just tell people to keep looking in pakistan or maybe india since they're so corrupt he might even be there

    June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  65. HenkV

    Just let him move to New York, give him a cellphone, and he'll soon have to resign.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Informationjunkie

      lol I agree. Give him a donut and he will never go back to eating cactus and scorpions. A pair or Levis and some Nike Boots and the whole organization will crumble..lol Better yet give him some Kool Aid and Popeyes Chicken we see what that did to Nation of Islam.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  66. us1776

    al-Qaeda is now meaningless.

    They never managed to change even one government on their list of enemies.

    Young Arabs want nothing to do with terrorism.

    They want democracy and freedom.

    And they are using peaceful protests en masse around the Middle East to much more effect than anything al-Qaeda was ever able to do.

    al-Qaeda died with bin Laden.

    .

    June 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Dale

      Great comment!

      June 17, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
  67. Informationjunkie

    With Obama in office no Terrorist is safe. He cut off the head now he is coming for yo @zz!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  68. jebmke

    They should have an inauguration party.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  69. pod

    These punks are going down!

    Mess with the best and the vest wouldn't help ya...

    June 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  70. halifaxboi

    Well its better him than bin ladens twin brother nib laden

    June 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  71. Willy Brown

    Great another camel rider with hemorrhoids mad at the world because he lives in a sandbox he’s fugly and he can’t get no Preparation H

    June 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • dnguyen

      Good one 🙂

      June 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  72. The Truth

    Dead man walking !

    June 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  73. Manny

    Doesn't he have a drunken beer swilling brother, Al-Billy Zawahiri, who'll cause him endless shame ? What is Zawahiri's energy policy ? Gays in Al Qaeda ? What about his failed medical overhaul, "Zawahiricare" ?

    June 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • cale

      This is the best comment I've every read hahahahaha.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  74. Dean

    Paging Seal Team 6. It's boom, boom time.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  75. Peikovian

    They can jump on their flying carpets and head straight for hell. That would be new.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  76. Apul M'Deek-Aoud

    First he plans to layoff half the staff at his compund in Islamabad then they plan to IPO the company Al & Billy Qaeda Inc.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  77. Mark L.

    In the words of former WWE wrestler (entertainer), Goldberg, "Ayman al-Zawahiri – You're Next !!" Our absolutely elite special forces, namely, the US Navy SEALS are going to take you down just like your self-proclaimed, martyr or prophet, Osama bin Laden. GOOD RIDDANCE !!!!

    June 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  78. John

    Yep, Seal Team 6 on deck and warming up! This time bring the jerk back so we can have him stuffed and put on display at Disney World or auction off his freeze dried corpse on Ebay.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • MotoJB

      I wouldn't pay a cent for his corpse...he's not worth the water or air he breathes.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  79. Newbdogg

    Tell muslims to go to hell and they'll laugh at you because they think you're going there. Tell them that their space god doesn't exist and there is no heaven and that we'll shoot them in the face when we find them and they may start to listen to reason.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  80. DT

    He'll be sleeping with the fishes too....

    June 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  81. gnossos

    Protip- Look in one of the neighbor hood compounds in Abbottabad...the one with the closed blinds?

    June 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  82. Burbank

    Why is the submit button in Spanish? Have the illegal aliens taken over that thoroughly?

    June 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Apul M'Deek-Aoud

      Si!

      June 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • Muhamed Al-Caholic

        Hilarious. I kind of like "Publicar." Viva Publicar!

        June 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  83. Burbank

    Looks older 'n God. Hopefully he will drop dead of a heart attack before he does any damage.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  84. joeinalabama

    I'm sure he srill will want to kill all who don't believe as he does, but doesn't being number 1 leader make you number 1 target?

    June 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  85. Doc

    Speaking of targets, this clown's already got one on his forehead. How convenient! I'm sure they'll try to center one on that...I would if it was me having to take aim.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Burbank

      I had an evil boss once with a huge cyst on that same spot on his forehead – he was a scammer in business besides just being plain nasty. Must be the mark of the devil.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  86. GUP

    Like a line from a classic kung-fu movie, "You must be tired of living!"

    June 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  87. glu

    Another moose-limb douche bag

    June 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  88. Mark

    Watch out, Al-Zawahiri. There's a drone flying around out there somewhere with your name on it!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  89. Columbus

    What kind of comments are these, both from our officials in DC and commenters here????? Your saying he doesn't have the chops to lead Al-Queda? This guy sounds perfect! Congradulations Al.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  90. jamison

    May all these fanatics who do these terrible things in the name of their God rot in HELL Another RODENT to track down and destroy.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  91. Anthony

    Regardless who runs it, this organization,though weakened,still poses a grave threat. This guy now will have a bigger bullseye attached to his sorry ass. Like his late boss, Bin Laden, his days are numbered.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  92. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    SEAL Team 6 is packing and moving out...................! ! !

    June 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  93. enrico

    Sweet - a new target.. Let the hunting begin!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  94. Isthatso?

    Is that big indention on his head from where his mom dropped him on his head?

    June 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      I think it's there for aim.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  95. Bob

    Pakistan will harbor him too, and lie about it. When O when will we wake up and start blaming Pakistan for the failure to win in Afghanistan.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  96. American Rebel

    Probably to sh!tzville. This guy couldn't lead a terrorist attack out of a wet paper bag with no bottom. We should just point and laugh taunting him with an America/World funeral at the bottom of the sea.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  97. joe

    Friends

    LA County Police Department has now been completely infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood: Tom Trento our friend over at United West exposes the LA Police Dept as blathering fools who have fallen to the deceit of fundamentalist Islam.

    Watch this with shock and disgust at the foolishness of Americans in leadership positions...

    http://shoebat.com/videos/lapdMuslims.php

    June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • BobZemko

      Oh, PLEASE provide more links that will do my thinking for me. In the meantime, you're delusional!!!!

      June 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • BostonBrewin

      You're no friend of mine

      June 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • jizzmaster

      I'm gonna jerk off into your mouth

      June 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  98. Newport Pagnell

    You ask , " Where does al-Qaeda go with al -Zawahiri in charge?" To the bottom of the Arabian Sea of course.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      To paradise with one right between the eyes............

      June 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • trex

      With Paki watching our back, we can rest eas..................well we can res..........................maybe we can ask them to............... awh screw Paki and its ISI to hell.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  99. EJ in Metro Houston

    So I guess this really means bin Laden IS dead, huh? So much for the "deathers"!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  100. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Ok, now just send this guy a free iphone with the tracking crap in it. Over and done!!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • mickyblue

      kinda defeats the point if you have an adress to send it too..

      June 17, 2011 at 12:51 am | Reply
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