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Al-Qaeda has chosen a former Egyptian Special Forces officer as interim leader of the violent extremist group in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death earlier this month.
Saif al-Adel, a top al-Qaeda strategist and senior military leader, has been appointed as “caretaker” chief of the group, CNN reported, citing former Libyan militant Noman Benotman, who has renounced al-Qaeda’s ideology.
Bin Laden’s long-time deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, another Egyptian, is considered to be his presumed successor. Benotman said the appointment of Adel on a temporary basis may be a way for the group to gauge reaction to having someone outside the Muslim holy region of the Arabian Peninsula at the helm.
Saif al-Adel is believed to be affiliated with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). He has been indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.