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Iran and al-Qaeda Under Sheikh Saif al-Adel: The Ramifications for Israel

Since 9/11 attacks Iran became a safe haven for senior al-Qaeda members as well as a hub for terror activity planning, fund raising, recruiting and more, especially for Sheikh Saif al-Adel, al-Qaeda’s current leader. Al-Adel, that apparently rose to power after the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri in July
2022, cultivated very good relationship with IRGC and was likely able to enlist their assistance in
executing his policy. This cooperation may project on al-Qaeda’s policy as well as its active
involvement together with Iran or one of its proxies in perpetrating future terrorist activity against
Israel or Israeli and Jewish targets overseas.

This document wishes to examine al-Adel’s characteristics, the challenges he is facing and the
ramifications of his appointment as the leader of al-Qaeda in connection to Israel. This document
relies on Arab sources and interviews with Israeli experts, some of whom are ex security services.