The selection of longtime al Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri as the successor to Osama bin Laden following last month's U.S. commando raid has prompted global speculation over exactly how the terrorist group's tactics will (or will not) shift under the new leadership.
As the Associated Press reports, Zawahiri, who will turn 60 next week, is believed to be operating from somewhere near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Still, many officials say they believe Zawahiri lacks the fervor of his predecessor. “Bin Laden has been the leader of al Qaeda essentially since its inception," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is due to retire at the end of the month, is quoted as saying. "In that particular context he had a peculiar charisma that I think Zawahiri does not have. I think he was much more operationally engaged than we have the sense Zawahiri has been.”
View facts about the new al Qaeda leader below, courtesy of Reuters:
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