Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been captured in Pakistan, according to a report quoted by Israel Radio today.
The Jerusalem Post says Pakistani forces operating against al Qaida strongholds in the country report capturing the Egyptian national, who was formerly the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which operated in the past against the Cairo regime.
Earlier today, Lt.-Gen. David Barno, commander of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, told Reuters bin Laden and other senior al-Qaida leaders are most likely hiding in Pakistan and that they have been assisting Taliban remnants in efforts to disrupt the Oct. 9 presidential election in Afghanistan.
“We see relatively little evidence of senior al-Qaida personality figures being here (in Afghanistan) because they can feel more protected by their foreign fighters in remote areas inside Pakistan,” Barno told the news service.
Barno praised Pakistan’s efforts to flush out terrorists from remote tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and its crackdown on al-Qaida-linked operatives in towns and cities.
As WorldNetDaily reported, some analysts believe there is substantial evidence Ayman al-Zawahiri may have taken over leadership of al-Qaida from bin Laden.