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Shaykh Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri (أيمن محمد ربيع الظواهري, born June 19, 1951) is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life imprisonment. His wife and three of his six children were killed in an air strike on Afghanistan in late 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
As of May 2, 2011, he became the leader of al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden. This was confirmed by a press release from al-Qaeda's general command on June 16. After the 9/11 attacks the U.S. State Department offered a $25 million reward for information leading to al-Zawahiri's apprehension.
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- Ayman al-Zawahiri appointed as al-Qaeda leader - BBC News, June 16, 2011
- Saad Abedine - Jihadist websites: Ayman al-Zawahiri appointed al Qaeda's new leader - CNN, June 16, 2011
- Juan Zarate, Chris Wragge - Who now becomes America's next most wanted terrorist? - CBS Early Show, May 3, 2011
- Egyptian doctor emerges as terror mastermind - CNN, accessed June 16, 2011