May 02, 2011 21:40

Steve Coll: "Zawahiri's record suggests he will struggle"

“His record is one of alienating his colleagues, fighting over dogma, even within the Islamist movement. And as a communicator, he is less effective. His books are turgid and dogmatic.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Bin Laden biographer Steve Coll takes a dim view of Ayman al-Zawahiri's chances of success as Al Qaeda's likely new leader. Coll, the author of The Bin Ladens and Ghost Wars, told FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith that Al Qaeda may find itself in a succession struggle in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

Coll also reflected on bin Laden's life in Pakistan just before the attack that killed him, the role the Pakistani military may have played in hiding the terrorist leader, and the U.S. military's choice to bury him at sea.

On bin Laden's final years:

On the suspicious location of bin Laden's compound:

On the U.S. military's decision for bin Laden's final resting place:

On the challenges Zawahiri will face and the possibility of "contenders for bin Laden's inheritance":

Read the transcript of Coll's interview and his May 2 New Yorker post "Notes on the Death of bin Laden."

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posted may 02, 2011

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