Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was responsible for leading American forces to Osama bin Laden’s compound, a Saudi newspaper reported on Thursday.
It said the two al-Qaeda leaders had differences and that the courier who led the American intelligence to Bin Laden was working for Zawahiri, Al-Watan newspaper, quoting an unnamed “regional source,” said
The courier knew he was being followed by the US military but kept it a secret.
“The Egyptian faction of Al-Qaeda is defacto running the organization now and since Bin Laden was taken ill in 2004 they have been trying to take full control,” according to the paper.
It also said Zawahiri’s faction had persuaded Bin Laden to leave tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border and take shelter instead in Abbottabad near Islamabad, where he was shot dead by US commandos on Monday.
The newspaper conveyed that after the return of the Egyptian Saif al-Adel from Iran last fall the decision to remove Bin Laden from the leadership was evident. Saif al-Adel is known for his planning and implementation skills.
Meanwhile, other sources in Saudi Arabia and Egypt said Thursday that during a secret meeting held in Yemen earlier this week, the leaders of al Qaeda in the Gulf region decided that the immediate revenge of their leader’s death will take place in Iraq.
They plan to dispatch 10 suicide bombers to an American base there.