The Al-Qa'ida network

War on terrorism
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The Independent Online

Ayman Al-Zawahiri

Reported to have been wounded, possibly killed, in an air strike near Jalalabad on Monday. Founder of the Egyptian Jihad movement, he merged it with al-Qa'ida in 1998 and moved to Afghanistan. Aged 50, he is believed to be the political brain of al-Qa'ida.

Saif Al Adel

Born in Egypt in either 1960 or 1963, he has been identified by Tony Blair and the FBI as a top member of al-Qa'ida. A former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, he is wanted in connection with the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa. He is believed to be in Afghanistan.

Mohammed Atef

Killed in an air strike near Kabul on 15 November. A longtime member of Egyptian Jihad, he joined Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan three years ago. Believed to have been the operational mastermind behind the 11 September attacks.

Abu Zubaydah

Also known as Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn. Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1971. Believed to be responsible for al-Qa'ida's external relations and, according to some reports, fourth in the chain of command behind Osama bin Laden.

Ahmed Abdel-Rahman

Captured by the Northern Alliance last month. Not considered a major figure in al-Qa'ida but had great symbolic importance as the son of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called "blind sheikh".

Mohammed Salah

Believed to have been killed in early November in bombing near the Afghan-Pakistan border. He is Egyptian and said to have been one of al-Qa'ida's top 20 commanders.

Osama Bin Laden

America's Public Enemy Number One has been unseen, either in person or on videotape, for several weeks, and is believed to be hiding in a mountain cave near Kandahar or in the Tora Bora region near Jalalabad. Although he is the undisputed symbol of al-Qa'ida and militant anti-Americanism throughout the Islamic world, there are conflicting reports on the 44-year-old's continuing day-to-day leadership of al-Qa'ida and about his state of health.

Tariq Anwar Al-Sayyid Ahmad

Believed to have been killed with Mohammed Salah and to have held similar rank in al-Qa'ida. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1963, and was deployed on "special operations".

Ali Mahmud

Reputedly al-Qa'ida's finance chief. A mujahedin commander says he was killed with 17 Arab fighters by a US bomb attack on caves in the Melawa area of the White Mountains.

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