Dubai, June 16: Second in command of Osama bin Laden Ayman al-Zawahri has taken command of al Qaeda, Islamist website Ansar al-Mujahideen reported.
Since the killing of Osama by the U.S. SEAL in Pakistan it has widely speculated that Zawahari will take charge of the world’s most dreaded terrorist organization.
Earlier this month, Zawahri, the main think tank during the Osama era, vowed that he will press ahead with al Qaeda's campaign against the U.S. and its allies.
The website said, "The general leadership of al Qaeda group, after the completion of consultation, announces that Sheikh Dr. Ayman Zawahri, may God give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group.” Like Osama, Zawahari’s whereabouts are not known to U.S. intelligence unknown, and announced reward of $25 million for any information.
Zawahri is known for his intelligence and is widely presumed as "operational brains" behind al Qaeda. He is widely respected amongst the cadre and known for his work in transforming al Qaeda from being a small organization to into a global organization.
The friendship of Osama and Zawahri began in mid-1980s when both were supporting guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. New commander, who is reportedly in his 50s, was born to an upper-class Cairo family and is a trained doctor.