Osama Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri may be more dangerous

Ayman al-Zawahiri
Al Qaeda has lost its leader, but Osama bin Laden’s deputy is in some ways better organized and more inclined to use violence to continue its mission of global jihad, experts said Monday.

“He’s much more powerful than bin Laden as a leader — much more organized,” said Dr. Tawfik Hamid of the Virginia-based Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, who said he knew Al-Zawahiri when both were in the radical Islamic terror group Jamaa Islamiya in Egypt.

“When you listen to him, you can tell clearly that he has the ambition and is dedicated 100 percent to achieve this mission,” said Hamid, who said he now views Radical Islam as a threat in need of reformation.

Others say al-Zawahiri, a trained surgeon, has competition. The leader of the group’s military committee, Saif al-Adel; its East African leader, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed; al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Gaith, and the U.S.-born cleric who allegedly inspired the Fort Hood massacre, Anwar al-Awlaki, are all potential leaders. [via]

Al-Zawahiri’s hatred of the West has only increased since his early days as an Islamic radical. Some of his six children are believed to have been killed as they fled Afghanistan in the early weeks of the U.S. invasion.