According to an Al Qaeda-affiliated website, Egypt-born Ayman al-Zawahri has succeeded Osama bin laden as head of the terror network.

Al-Zawahri, who will turn 60 next week, had been bin Laden's second in command before the latter was killed in a US Commando operation in Pakistan, last month. Zawahri had declared, earlier this month, the organizations decision to go ahead with the campaign against the United States and its allies, in response to bin Laden's death.

According to the announcement posted in the Al Qaeda affiliate site, Zawahri is the son of an upper middle class Egyptian family of doctors and scholars. His father was a pharmacology professor at Cairo University's medical school and his grandfather was the grand imam of Al-Azhar University, a premier center of religious study.