New al-Qaeda Leader, but the Game Remains the Same

Mike Brownfield /

Al-Qaeda officially has a new leader in Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man who long served as Osama bin Laden’s number two in command. But does that have any impact on America? Heritage’s James Carafano says “Not much, actually.”

Threats against America remain unchanged: First off, al-Qaeda is still determined to foster global terrorism and attack the United States. That’s nothing new. Carafano writes:

As soon as Seal Team Six reported in, terrorism experts started predicting that Al Qaeda would take revenge. Now they’re saying that Zawahiri will stage a big attack to make his bones as the new big guy. That may be true, but it hardly represents a big change for the U.S., practically speaking.

Ever since 9/11, Al Qaeda has been trying to quarterback global terrorism efforts, or at least inspire others to strike at the United States. There have been many plots aimed at the United States post-9/11, and most of them have been foiled. So, really, what is the difference? (more…)