Egyptian-born Saif al-Adel has been appointed caretaker leader of al Qaeda, according to a source with detailed knowledge of the group's inner workings, CNN reported.

Al-Adel, who, it is said, has long-held roles within the group, was once a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a militant organization formerly aligned with al Qaeda.

The news comes from the mouth of Noman Benotman, who has reportedly known al Qaeda leadership for more than two decades.

According to the CNN report, Benotman said al-Adel had been appointed interim chief of al Qaeda because the global jihadist community has grown impatient awaiting a formal announcement naming bin Laden's successor.

The choice of an Egyptian, he said, may not sit well with those who believe bin Laden's replacement should come from the Arabian Peninsula, a region holy to Muslims.