"He has become their CEO, the only person that al Qaeda cannot afford to lose"

According to Benotman, now a senior analyst at the Quilliam Foundation, a U.K. counter-terrorism think tank, Rahman was one of the sharpest jihadist operatives he had ever encountered. He said Rahhman and Zawahiri had recently developed a strategy to rebuild al Qaeda by reorganizing its relations with its affiliates, rebranding its message to expand its support base and repositioning its energies to take advantage of the fast pace of events in the Arab world, including in Yemen where al Qaeda’s affiliate has taken advantage of chaotic conditions to expand its operations in recent months…

In recent years Rahman had helped manage al Qaeda’s relations with its affiliates. According to Benotman, Rahman was determined to build a more cohesive united al Qaeda global effort in which affiliated groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen more closely followed strategic guidance from al Qaeda’s top leaders in Pakistan. In order to further this aim, Rahman relied on unique set of contacts that he had built up among other jihadist groups around the world.

In a booklet he released in the summer of 2010 al Rahman stressed the need for jihadists to open multiple fronts and for local elements to be integrated into the global jihadist movement, according to a review by the Jamestown Foundation. He also stated that takfir (the excommunication and sentencing to death of Muslims) should only be decided by religious scholars.

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