Bin Laden is dead, but al-Qaeda is not
For months after Osama bin Laden's death, terrorism experts offered predictions as to whom would be appointed to lead al-Qaeda. On Thursday, the terror network announced that Ayman al-Zawahiri, its second-in-command, would take over as leader, as many observers had predicted. Many of the members of al-Qaeda have been killed or captured since 2001, leaving fewer in positions of responsibility.
- Remaining leadership
Named as successor to bin Laden
Adviser and longtime No. 2 to bin Laden. Head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad group.
Nationality: United States. Holds dual American and Yemeni citizenship.
Leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Security chief, succeeded Muhammad Atef. Former Eqyptian army officer who joined the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Reportedly being held under house arrest in Iran, but may have been released.
Atiyah Abd al-Rahman
Joined bin Laden in the 1980s and became an explosives expert.
Adnan Gulshair el-Shukrijumah
Nationality: Saudi Arabia
Operations. Lived in the United States with his father, a Muslim cleric.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah
Nationality: United States
Propagandist. Grew up in California and converted to Islam as a teenager. Moved to Pakistan in 1998 and appeared in several al-Qaeda videos. Indicted and charged with treason in 2006.
Killed May 1, 2011
Osama bin Laden
Nationality: Saudi Arabia
Al-Qaeda's top leader and founder. His holy war against the United States and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks made him the most wanted terrorist in the world.
Killed May 2010
Mustafa Abu al-Yazid
Chief financial manager. Original member of al-Qaeda’s leadership council.
Killed July 2008
Chemical weapons expert. Fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Led al-Qaeda’s biological and chemical weapons research.
Killed Jan. 29, 2008
Abu Yahya al-Libi
Operations and planning. Originally a leader with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Appeared in al-Qaeda videos.
Killed Sept. 25, 2006
Liason for al-Qaeda in Indonesia. Escaped in 2005 from Bagram prison with three other detainees.
Killed June 7, 2006
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Operations. Leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Connected to the Madrid train bombings in 2004.
Killed Nov. 30, 2005
Abu Hamza Rabia
International operations. Considered to have been third in al-Qaeda, behind bin Laden and Zawahiri.
Killed Nov. 3, 2002
Chief operative in Yemen. Was a close associate of bin Laden’s in Sudan in the early 1990s. Considered involved in the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
Killed Nov. 14, 2001
Operations. Fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Married a daughter to one of bin Laden’s sons.
SOURCE: Staff reports. GRAPHIC: The Washington Post. Published May 2, 2011.
Death comes nearly 10 years after he orchestrated the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.