Bin Laden appoints new commander to spearhead al Qaeda’s operations against West

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Osama Bin Laden has reportedly appointed a new commander, Saif al-Adel, to carry out al Qaeda’s offensive operations against the West.

Al-Adel or ‘Sword of the Just,’ the new chief of international operations, is believed to be behind the recent terror alerts across Europe and the mid-air parcel-bomb plot.

The Daily Mail quoted U.S. and Pakistani sources as saying that al-Adel was running several operations intended to persuade Western public opinion that the war against terror is unwinnable. This would clear the road for al-Qaeda to capture power in fragile states such as Somalia and Yemen.

“His strategy is to stage multiple small terror operations, using the resources of affiliates and allies wherever possible,” Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani expert on Al Qaeda, said.

Five years ago al-Adel reportedly wrote a planning document which said Islamist movements failed because their ‘actions were mostly random,’ and called for a ‘greater objective, which is the establishment of a state’.

The new attrition strategy marks the triumph of a minority faction within Al Qaeda who had opposed the 9/11 attacks, arguing that the inevitable U.S. retaliation against Afghanistan would cost the movement its only secure base, the paper said.

In 2002, extremist websites carried a letter allegedly from al-Adel criticising Bin Laden’s leadership. Al-Adel was captured by Iranian forces and held along its Caspian coast with his wife Wafa and five children for several years.

But in April he was released from custody as part of a prisoner swap along with Saad bin Laden, Osama’s son, and top Al Qaeda operatives Suleiman al-Gaith and Mahfouz al-Walid.

The Egyptian born was arrested in his country in 1987, and prosecutors claimed he had planned to crash an aircraft into the parliament building or detonate a bomb-laden truck nearby. (ANI)

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