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Five gen next al Qaeda leaders identified

Last Updated: Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 23:49

Washington: American counter terrorism experts have identified at least five potential next-generation leaders of al Qaeda, including three with US connections, according to a report.

Experts believe after the death of al Qaeda No 2 Abu Yahya al-Libi in a US drone attack in Pakistan, the terrorist group’s highest councils once again face the daunting task of filling a leadership void and selecting a next-generation jihadist capable of succeeding current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

“It would be a mistake for anyone to conclude there is no one on the bench,” an anonymous US official familiar with counter-terrorism strategy told NBC.

“It`s a thinning bench, but there are still bad guys, with bad aspirations in al Qaeda`s core group in Pakistan,” the official added.

According to The New York Post, the five potential next-generation leaders identified by the officials include Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah, a 36-year-old Saudi who reportedly is director of operations for al Qaeda who spent his teenage years in Brooklyn and Florida.

He was reportedly was involved in a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subway.

The second potential successor is Jaber A El-Baneh, a 45-year-old Yemeni who lived for a time in Buffalo, and was viewed as the mastermind of the Lackawanna Six plot in 2003.

Other three potential leaders are Adam Gadahn, a 33-year-old American and al Qaeda strategist, Sheikh Khalid Abdur Rahman al-Hussainan, a 45-year-old Kuwaiti who is a cleric and teacher, and Ali Sayyid Muhamed Mustafa al-Bakri, a 46-year-old Egyptian with explosives and chemical weapons expertise.


First Published: Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 13:40

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