Ayman al-Zawahiri, a cerebral Egyptian surgeon who joined his first jihadist cell at age 15, is as much the force behind al-Qaeda as his more famous friend Osama bin Laden. When the two first met in Pakistan in 1986, al-Zawahiri made a powerful impression on the younger, inexperienced Saudi millionaire
As the news of Osama bin Laden’s death moves from exhilarating novelty to accepted reality, one group in the U.S. government will emerge as key to the win: the Central Intelligence Agency
There were no banners hailing Osama bin Laden in Egypt’s Tahrir Square; no photos of his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri at anti-government protests in Tunisia, Libya or even Yemen, a key staging ground for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and bin Laden’s ancestral home.
Eight years after September 11, the “war on terror” has gone the way of the dodo. And President Obama talks instead about a war against al Qaeda and its allies.