June 16th, 2011
12:34 PM ET

New al Qaeda leader: Where is he?

A U.S. counterterrorism official says the U.S. believes Ayman al-Zawahiri is now the leader of al Qaeda. “This is not at all surprising. He had been the number two. It was surprising it took a couple of days for al Qaeda to acknowledge bin Laden’s death and this long to say Zawahiri is the new leader,” the official said.

The official noted that al Qaeda members had pledged their loyalty to bin Laden and said the U.S. does not know if the same has been done to al-Zawahiri.

Asked if the U.S. is any closer to finding al-Zawahiri as a result of the information obtained at bin Laden’s compound or from leads resulting from the recent Zawahiri videotaped message about bin Laden’s death? The official would not comment except to say, “Obviously he has been and will continue to be of high interest.”

Asked now that al-Zawahiri is in charge will there be changes in the U.S. counterterrorism strategy, the official said probably not. He’s someone they know a lot about and have been pursuing for a long time.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism
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  31. pilot

    I bet he pisses himself everytime he hears a helicopter fly by.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  32. RM

    Probably being harbored in Army Headquarters, New Delhi, India and will be smuggled into Pakistan soon before USA starts withdrawing soldiers out of Afghanistan. Thus to make the troop reduction look a "mission accomplished" exercise rather than a retreat.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • jon

      yeah that makes a lot of sense, i'm sure that in light of the LET mumbai active shooter raids which killed so many people, the Indians would just welcome him with open arms. You sir or ma'am obviously have no idea what you are talking about, and have set a new precedent in the field of ignorance. If any high level al qaeda operative was in army barracks in new delhi, they'd be getting the balls beat off of them only taking breaks for water boarding sessions. I'm not sure whether your post is based on a significant misunderstand of global politics, or just the racist concept that everyone in asia or the middle east is a terrorist, either way your insulting the rest of us by posting your nonsense on an American website. go learn about the world before you spread more misinformation.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  33. Mr. Davidson

    Waiting for a 50 cent bullet.Kind of funny when you consider the US taxpayer has made many billionaires vastly rich while chasing him and the other 12 dwarfs.

    June 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  34. abu ayman

    America should know that it has a lot of problems in the world and it will take a long time to curb that.

    June 18, 2011 at 2:53 am | Reply
  35. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

    I know... he is either alive or dead, and he is in Afghanistan, or Pakistan or some other country. And it only took eight years and two trillion dollars to figure that out.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  36. djse

    where is he? At the GHQ in Rawalpindi . where else.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  37. Artie2

    "Where is he?"
    Hiding under a rock, of course. He's a coward and a murderer.
    Careful Za-Hairy, there may be courriers about...

    June 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  38. pua

    The US now has a pattern for capture or KIA. The same pattern will be followed seeking this guy. The one big issue remains Pakistan. They know that the US will ignore all complaint, come into their territory and find this guy too. They will put up argument and unwise resistance, but it's only a matter of time. But this guy knows the delicacy of the relationship and has probably moved even deeper into Pak to make it that much more difficult.

    He doesn't strike me as the austure and bare bones living OBL, I think this guy like the camera too much, that will be his eventual demise.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  39. U2ovrUS

    Go on believing that, fool...while Obama tracks him down and nails him.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  40. eererreg

    He is enjoying a 100% all beef hamburger patty with his muslim buddy obama

    June 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply

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