Ayman al-Zawahri was Osama bin Laden’s mentor, then his successor

WASHINGTON — Ayman al-Zawahri, the top al-Qaeda leader killed by a U.S. strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, started as Osama bin Laden’s mentor and took over after bin Laden’s death in 2011.

While bin Laden was the public face, founding figure and chairman of al-Qaeda’s board of directors, al-Zawahri acted more as the organization’s CEO. This included playing a management role in some of his boldest plots, including the coordinated attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

USA Today

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