Commentary September 10, 2020

Al Qaeda's Leader Remains Dangerous

Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by that of his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden with then-advisor Ayman al-Zawahiri during a November 2001 interview at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.
Visual News/Getty Images

Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by that of his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. Yet, Al Qaeda maintains affiliates in regions across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. And though he’s conjured less of a personality cult, al Qaeda’s current leader is just as dangerous to the United States as its old one.

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