When events repeatedly occur in coincidence, they stop being coincidence. Drawing links between them could lead to surprising revelations.
This may come to mind when watching “The Struggle for al-Qaeda’s Leadership” – a documentary film produced by Al Arabiya TV that was aired on Thursday. A replay will be aired on Friday at 12:30 KSA (0930 GMT).
The film features prominent figures battling to succeed Osama bin Laden after his death. In addition to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the men included Saif al-Adl, Atya al-Misurati, Anwar al-Awlaki (killed while the documentary was being made), and Abu Abu Yahya al-Libi.
This complex power struggle is traced back to records documenting the rise to al-Qaeda’s leadership ranks by various figures. These records demonstrate that a cult group is not much different from a political or criminal group in its organizational structure.
The files reveal that each time Zawahiri rose to a higher rank in the al-Qaeda ladder, one of his rivals was killed.
This happened five times, making it difficult to describe the recurrence as mere coincidence.
The documentary also shows how Zawahiri sent an individual to bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound without paying any heed to the fact that this individual was known and traced by the CIA.
Zawahiri sent the individual twice, according to sources familiar with al-Qaeda leaders.
The struggle for al-Qaeda leadership does not seem to end after Zawahiri became the head of the outfit. It seems the struggle has just begun.
(This article was translated by Mustapha Ajbaili)