American officials are welcoming the news that Ayman al-Zawahri will succeed Osama bin Laden as leader of al-Qaeda, saying his divisive nature and lack of charisma will alienate young supporters and weaken the terrorist network’s influence. “He’s just personally disliked by many in al-Qaeda. His personality gets in the way,” Brian Fishman, an expert on al-Qaeda, told The New York Times. Other experts say al-Zawahri is a ruthless and intelligent leader, whose militancy dates back many years, when he started an anti-government group in Egypt when he was 16. Since formally joining al-Qaeda in 1998, al-Zawahri has helped coordinate several terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Categories: Need to know
U.S. welcomes al-Qaeda leadership change as sign of weakness
Experts allege al-Zawahri can’t compare to Osama bin Laden