Zawahiri has Yemen Qaeda chief's support
Dubai - The chief of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) reaffirmed on Tuesday his group's backing for Ayman al-Zawahiri as al-Qaeda's new leader, the Site Intelligence Group said.
Nasser al-Wuhayshi, "pledged allegiance to newly appointed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message released on jihadist forums on July 26 2011", said Site, which monitors traffic on jihadist forums.
AQAP had already expressed support for Zawahiri as the replacement for Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a US commando raid in May, in its English-language magazine "Inspire."
Zawahiri, who was long bin Laden's number two, "has been at the forefront of Islamic work and now will lead the organisation he helped found", Yahya Ibrahim wrote in the "letter from the editor" section of "Inspire," a copy of which was provided by Site.
"We ask Allah to assist Sheikh Ayman in this great task," Ibrahim wrote.
Another section of the magazine, titled "News Flash," said that "after the martyrdom of Sheikh Osama, the al-Qaeda central leadership selected Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may Allah preserve him, as the new emir [leader]".