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Ayman al-Zawahiri Targeted Killing Ramifications

Targeted killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri by the U.S. is a severe blow to al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem that his demise will affect al-Qaeda’s offshoots’ activity in the various jihad theatres due to their decentralized nature. Although al-Zawahiri’s pale and uncharismatic image, his contribution was articulated in maintaining the survival of al-Qaeda and sometimes even strengthening the influence of al-Qaeda in old and new territories such as Mali.

Al-Zawahiri’s most important publication under his leadership was “General lines for Jihad” – a manifesto outlining the path of al-Qaeda characterized by a more pragmatic line.

So far, it has not been announced who will be the successor after the targeted killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri, but it seems that his obvious successor will be Sheikh Seif al-Adel, who is considered a leading strategist in al-Qaeda. The question that arises is whether the new leadership of al-Qaeda will continue the political path of al-Zawahiri or adhere to a different path.