- Moscow (IANS) - Al Qaida
has named a Palestinian to be Osama bin Laden's successor in case the latter
is arrested or killed, Russian news agency Ria-Novosti reported.
Quoting sources in Dubai, Ria-Novosti said Al Qaida members fleeing Afghanistan
have revealed this to Pakistani intelligence officers during interrogations.
The leadership of the terrorist outfit would pass over to Zain Al-Abedin
Hasan, a 30-year-old Palestinian from Gaza Strip, in case of Bin Laden's
death or arrest, Ria-Novosti reported.
Hasan has been based in Peshawar for the last few years, overseeing the
recruitment and dispatch of mercenaries from different parts of the world
The Palestinian is accused of masterminding the terrorist attacks on citizens
of western countries in Aman on New Year's eve in 2000, said Ria-Novosti.
The Jordanian intelligence agency had found evidence of Hasan's complicity
in those terrorist attacks, and more than 20 terrorists had been arrested
in connection with those incidents, the new agency said.
The sources said during the 1990s more than 20,000 mercenaries, mainly
from Arab countries, had crossed into Afghanistan and became members of
Nearly half of Al Qaida members, including many members of its leadership,
have managed to escape from Afghanistan, the news agency said, adding that
the outfit's communication infrastructure had been destroyed in the U.S.
Ria-Novosti said because of the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan for the first
time Al Qaida did not receive any donations on the occasion of Ramadan
from the Arab countries.
Copyright © 2001 IANS India Private Limited. All rights Reserved.