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Old Thursday, June 16, 2011
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Exclamation Zawahiri named new al Qaeda chief: Statement

Al Qaeda has named Ayman al-Zawahiri as its new chief following the killing of long-time leader Osama bin Laden by US commandos in May 2 raid in Pakistan, the banned organisation said in a statement Thursday.

“The general command of al Qaeda announces, after consultations, the appointment of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri as head of the group,” said the statement, issued in the name of the general command and posted on a militant website.

Al Qaeda under the new leadership of Zawahiri will pursue its ‘jihad’ (holy war) against the United States and Israel, the group said in the statement.

“We seek with the aid of God to call for the religion of truth and incite our nation to fight … by carrying out jihad against the apostate invaders … with their head being crusader America and its servant Israel, and whoever supports them,” said the statement.

Zawahiri has been al Qaeda’s number two for years.

Al Qaeda had earlier chosen former Egyptian special forces officer, Saif al Adel, as interim leader.

Zawahiri had earlier vowed in a video eulogy to Bin Laden that he will pursue his late leader’s jihad against the West.

He also vowed allegiance to the leader of Taliban Mullah Omar. “We renew our allegiance to the leader of believers, Mullah Omar,” said Zawahiri speaking of the reclusive leader who has a $10-million US bounty on his head.

Zawahiri named new al Qaeda chief: Statement – The Express Tribune
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