Yeah, that’d do it. Osama would end up going solo and experimenting with new, “rawer” ideologies while Zawahiri would form his own group and start putting out videos with a softer, almost treacly, tone.
Occasionally each would have a hit. But they’d come to realize that only by working together could they make the magic happen.
Exit question: Would the left embrace this as a comparatively humane alternative to assassinating foreign leaders, or does this too cross the line into “heart-ache” country?