The world should not watch out for dreaded terrorist outfit Al-Qaeda's leader Osama Bin Laden but should concentrate on capturing his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.
According to the newspaper, al-Zawahri has seized control of Al-Qaeda and has rebuilt the terror network into an organization capable of launching complex terror attacks in Britain and America.
The weekly said that Bin Laden has not chaired any meeting of Al-Qaeda's ruling shura, or council, in more than two years.
Instead, al-Zawahri, Bin Laden's nominal number two, is credited with rebuilding the terror network since the Afghan war in 2001.
According to the weekly, intelligence sources in Washington have revealed that Western spy chiefs were recently forced to revise dramatically their view that Al-Qaeda was so depleted that it was little more than "a cheerleader for extremists."
Instead, British and American intelligence agencies believe that a network of terrorist cells, funded, controlled and supported by Al-Qaeda's central command, based in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan, is in place again.
Al-Zawahri's task has also been made easier because not a single prominent Al-Qaeda leader has been captured since March 2006, nearly 18 months ago, the weekly said.