A suspected Al Qaeda operative who lived for more than 15 years in the US has become chief of the terror network’s global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.
Adnan Shukrijumah, 35, has taken over a position once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in 2003, Miami-based FBI counterterrorism agent Brian LeBlanc told The Associated Press.
That puts him in regular contact with Al Qaeda’s senior leadership, including Osama bin Laden, LeBlanc said. The FBI has been searching for Shukrijumah since 2003. He is thought to be the only Al Qaeda leader to have once held permanent US resident status, or a green card.