[QODLink]
Inside Story
The next Osama
With Osama bin Laden hunted down and killed by US special forces, who will become al-Qaeda's next leader?
Last Modified: 05 May 2011 12:01

Osama bin Laden became the face of militant Islam following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, and it was these attacks that propelled his organisation to the world's attention. 

So without bin Laden, what happens to al-Qaeda?

His most obvious successor is Ayman al-Zawahiri. Born in Cairo he was a key figure in the Egyptian Islamist movement. He fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan and was bin Laden's closest adviser.  

Another potential replacement is Anwar al-Awlaki. Born in New Mexico, he has now become the spokesman for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Seen more as a cleric than a fighter, Awlaki is believed to have played a key role in a number of terrorist plots in the US.

There is also Abu Yahya al-Libi. A leading al-Qaeda ideologue, he was a commander in Afghanistan. Al-Libi has been active in urging resistance and recruits from Europe and North America. 

Who, among those, will be Bin Laden's successor? With the death of its iconic leader, how will the organisation operate in the future? And how will Western countries adapt to the changing face of the group?

Inside Story, with presenter Darren Jordon, discusses with Imtiaz Gul, a political analyst and author of several books on al-Qaeda including The most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier; Paul Rogers, a professor of peace studies at the University of Bradford; and Mahan Abedin, the director of research at the center for the study of terrorism, who the co-edited Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, May 4, 2011.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.