RealNews

AP: U.S. Says New al-Qaida Chief in Gulf

U.S. officials believe they have identified a young former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden as al-Qaida’s new chief of terror operations in the Persian Gulf. Abu Hazim al-Sha’ir, a 29-year-old Yemeni now believed to be living in Saudi Arabia, is one of a new crop of al-Qaida operatives who are trying to fill the roles of senior bin Laden lieutenants who have been captured or killed since Sept. 11, according to U.S. officials. “Capable replacements appear to be emerging, many of whom have demonstrated their ability to see previously planned operations through to fruition,” according to one U.S. intelligence report. Abu Hazim is just one of the top al-Qaida leaders now at large, according to officials from U.S. counterterrorism agencies, who discussed intelligence on the terror network on the condition of anonymity. Officials acknowledge there may be other emerging leaders they don’t know about. The CIA and FBI, for example, did not learn that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, was a top al-Qaida figure until well after the attacks took place. Full Story

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