May 09, 2011

Where is Saif al Adel? Al Qaeda appoints new leader in the tribal areas.

Roggio is reporting that Al Qaeda has appointed a new leader of forces in Pakistan's tribal areas...he is Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, the chief of the Turkistan Islamic Party...

Al Qaeda has appointed the current leader of the allied Turkistan Islamic Party to command al Qaeda's forces in Pakistan's tribal areas and organize al Qaeda's training camps there. The move took place just weeks before al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert raid by US SEALs and CIA operatives deep inside Pakistan's northwest.

Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, the chief of the Turkistan Islamic Party, has been given command of al Qaeda's forces in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas after Saif al Adel left the region, according to the Karachi Islam, an Urdu-language newspaper that supports the Taliban and jihadist groups. Karachi Islam is associated with the Al Rashid Trust, a charity that serves as an al Qaeda front. The Al Rashid Trust was placed on the list of specially designated terrorist entities just 11 days after al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the US.

Al Adel, who is al Qaeda's top military strategist and planner, had arrived in Pakistan in 2010 but left Pakistan's tribal areas in April this year due to concerns over the US Predator airstrikes that have targeted and killed top leaders of al Qaeda and allied terror groups. Prior his recent stay in Pakistan, al Adel had been based in Iran after fleeing Afghanistan in late 2001 along with scores of top al Qaeda leaders and their families. Al Adel is also considered as a possible successor to bin Laden.

The appointment of Abdul Shakoor to succeed Saif al Adel as al Qaeda's leader in the tribal areas was made some time in mid- to late April, according to Karachi Islam. Al Adel's location has not been disclosed.

There have been rumors of a split of AQ into factions.

By Matt Damon at 04:18 PM | Comments |