Al-Qaeda made a major announcement this week, promoting Ayman al-Zawahiri to fill its Chief Terrorist Officer post, a role that has been vacant since the death of its long-time leader, Osama bin Laden.
Al-Zawahiri’s greatest challenge will be convincing critics and diehard al-Qaeda purists that he is the right terrorist to fill bin Laden’s shoes.
“This is exactly like when a famous band gets a new lead singer. You have to win people over. Genesis, Van Halen, AC/DC – they all changed front men and still churned out the hits,” says music critic, Dean Branch.
“But then there are also less successful attempts to ‘rock on.’ Black Sabbath, INXS, Styx come to mind. Actually, they got worse with a new face. The question is: Is Ayman al-Zawahiri a Phil Collins or a Ronnie James Dio?” asks Branch.
The 60-year-old Egyptian surgeon is often considered the “brains” behind al-Qaeda, whereas bin Laden was largely viewed as the outfit’s face, heart and both kidneys.
Al-Qaeda has faith in its move, releasing a statement praising its newly crowned emir.
“Our new boss is totally radical. Ayman’s appointment marks the dawning of an exciting era for our terror syndicate. With God’s help, Ayman will guide us in ridding the planet of infidel filth. Death to Israel and America.”
For al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s top job comes with a modest pay increase, an additional wife and a secret mansion on the outskirts of an undisclosed Pakistani city.