Dubai: Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was
betrayed by his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri who led US forces to
his hideout as the two were involved in an intense power
struggle, a Saudi newspaper has reported.
The two top al Qaeda men had differences and the
courier who led US forces to bin Laden was working and had
more loyalties for Zawahiri, al Watan newspaper reported
quoting Arab sources.
"The Egyptian faction of al Qaeda led by Zawahiri was
de facto running the militant group, after bin Laden was taken
ill in 2004 and they were trying to take full control," the
The courier was a Pakistani national and not a Kuwaiti
as the US suspected and the man knew he was being followed but
disguised the fact.
The paper claimed it was Zawahiri`s faction which had
persuaded Osama to leave tribal areas close to
Afghanistan-Pakistan border to take shelter instead in
Abbottabad, where he was finally killed by US SEALs on Monday.
The plan to dispose of bin Laden had by a prominent
al Qaeda commander Saif al Adel of Egyptian descent, who
returned to Pakistan from Iran, last autumn.
Al Adel had reportedly escaped to Iran escorting
Osama`s other son and family members after 9/11
Al-Adel is a member of the majlis al shura of al-Qaeda
and a member of its military committee, and he provided
military and intelligence training to members of al Qaeda and
Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan,
and to anti-UN Somali tribes.