The vacant slot left by slain Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is being filled. There are reports that a former Egyptian military officer turned Al-Qaeda militant will be leading the terror network temporarily, till the time a successor is officially named.
According to CNN ,Saif al-Adel, a former Egyptian special forces officer, has been chosen as the interim head of Al-Qaeda, a fortnight after its chief was killed by US forces in Pakistan. He now has $25m bounty on his head.
Al-Adel was a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad the group which assassinated former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981. He is also believed to have fought during the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who is also Egyptian, is supposedly the chosen successor of Al Qaeda, and is terrorist number 02 in the United States list.
The selection clearly shows a division amongst the Al Qaeda operatives.
Further, it has to light that at least two of the helicopters used in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound by US forces seems to have been a new stealth design, according to several reports emerging from the scene. The use of such helicopters may have been key to the success of the operation that resulted in Bin Laden's death.
A huge part of the operation was crossing the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan to avoid detection by the Pakistani military and get the Navy SEALs into Osama bin Laden's compound.
In the attack, one of the helicopters was forced to land, and was destroyed by the U.S. Navy SEAL team that eventually killed Bin Laden. The tail section was separated and soon photos of it were making the rounds on the Internet.
It was also stated that US forces have to change the attack plan due to the sudden crash of the helicopter.
It was also reported that the American President Obama was initially hesitated to initiate the attack on the compound where Bin Laden was found to be hiding. This was thought to be due to possible Middle East back clash. However, because of the worry of a possible back clash from the public if the news of President’s hesitation leaks out, the President finally agreed to the military plan. The appearance of the President was described by an insider as he ‘was confused and uncertain’ after he was briefed of the situation as it unfolds after he was literally picked up from playing gulf and brought to the White House to inform of the situation. The president was not specifically informed of the plan until the last moment. Leon Panetta, the CIA Director, had already initiated the plan and foreign secretary Hilary Clinton was also involved in the discussions at the last moments until the engagement order was given to execute the attack. The top military brass, the President and Hilary Clinton all were in the situation room following every move of the attack.
Sources: Allvoices 17 may 2011