UN experts have suggested that the prevailing opinion among member states refers to the transfer of al-Qaeda leadership to Saif al-Adl, who is responsible for Osama bin Laden’s security and for training some of the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attack. Attacks of 2001.
An expert committee said in a report to the United Nations Security Council, released on Monday, that the organization did not announce the succession of Saif al-Adl to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul in August of last year.
“However, during the discussions that took place in November and January, most UN member states believed that Saif al-Adel had become the de facto and undisputed leader of the group,” the report said.
The committee added that assessments differ because the organization has not announced Saif al-Adl’s leadership.
He said some countries believe al-Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul has put in embarrass the Taliban rulers who seek international legitimacy, and that al-Qaeda has chosen not to focus on this by admitting its death.
He continued: “However, most countries believe that one of the main factors for not announcing Saif al-Adel’s succession to al-Zawahiri is his presence in Iran, which raises major religious, sectarian and operational dilemmas for al-Qaeda.”
While the committee indicated that one country rejected the allegations of an al-Qaeda branch in Iran’s committee said Saif al-Adel’s whereabouts “raise issues that would affect al-Qaeda’s ambitions to lead a global movement in the face of the challenges of ISIS.”
The committee reported that Saif al-Adl is blacklisted by the United Nations under his real name, Mohamed Salah al-Din Abdel Halim Zaidan, born in Egypt, since January 2001.
The United Nations said he assumed the position of military commander of al-Qaeda after Mohammed Atef, a senior bin Laden aide, was killed in a US attack in November 2001.
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