FBI adds new Al Qaeda boss to most wanted list saying threat hasn´t gone away

FBI adds new Al Qaeda boss to most wanted list saying threat hasn´t gone away

Saif al-Adel - Image FBI

The FBI has added the new Al Qaeda boss, Egyptian Saif al-Adel, to their most wanted list according to a spokesperson for the Agency.

A state department spokesperson told reporters that: “Our assessment aligns with that of the UN – that al-Qaeda’s new de facto leader Saif al-Adel is based in Iran.”

The statement released on Friday, February 17 follows an earlier announcement in the week by the United Nations that said that the predominant view of member states is that Adel is now the group’s leader.

It is understood that no formal declaration of his leadership has be made because of sensitivities within the Taliban around the execution of former leader Zawahiri. He was according to the UN killed in a US rocket attack last year.

There are also said to be concerns within the Sunni Islamist Al-Qaeda over Adel´s residence in largely Shiite Iran.

The UN report said: “His location raises questions that have a bearing on Al-Qaeda’s ambitions to assert leadership of a global movement in the face of challenges from ISIL (Islamic State).”

A former lieutenant –colonel in the Egyptian Special Forces, the 62-year-old is said to have help build the group’s operational capacity and trained some of the hijackers who took part in the 911 attacks.

Ali Soufan, a former FBI counter-terrorism investigator told France24: “Saif is one of the most experienced professional soldiers in the worldwide jihadi movement, and his body bears the scars of battle.

“When he acts, he does so with ruthless efficiency.”

The events in Ukraine and Afghanistan have overshadowed the activities of Muslim extremists in the Middle East, but their profile has once again been raised after the FBI added the new Al Qaeda boss to their most wanted list.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.