May 2, 2011
In this file image provided by Intel Center, Al-Qaida's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, speaks during a new 106-minute long video released Sept. 22, 2009 predicting President Barack Obama's downfall at the hands of the Muslim world. Officials also said they believe the death of Osama bin Laden puts al-Qaida on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse, but there was no word on the whereabouts of al-Zawahri, bin Laden's second-in-command.
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U.S. intelligence officials believe al-Qaida will have a hard time recovering from the death of its murderous leader, Osama bin Laden. After all, his heir apparent, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is a harsh, divisive figure who lacks the charisma and mystique that bin Laden used to hold together al-Qaida's various factions. But if there is one thing al-Qaida has proved it is able to do, it is adapt to adversity.