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Homeland Security

Al-Qaeda majlis al shura

Part of Al-Qaeda
Center of GravityAfghanistan
Area of OperationPakistan, Sudan
GoalProvide leadership for al-Qaeda
LeaderOsama bin Laden1
Core membership313
Alias(es)Al-Qaeda's consultative council, Shura Council
Key membersMohammed Atef, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Saif al-Adel, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Abu Faraj al-Yemeni
Narrative and Notes
ReliableAl-Qaeda's shura council is the governing council of the organization, ranked just below Osama bin Laden in seniority. It is unclear how important this body is after the Sept. 11 attacks and subsequent U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

It is not clear if al-Qaeda's shura and committee structure have existed in any real form since 2001, as many leaders have been caught, killed, or face restricted travel due to the intense worldwide manhunt for them.

In 2007, a U.S. military press release, noted the shura was in fact "defunct."

A number of the shure members described in 1998 by Jamal al-Fadl do not appear on U.S. 'most-wanted' lists, suggesting they are no longer functional members of the organization. A few are certainly captured or dead; some are still active, but the fate of others is uncertain.

The group appeared to have rotating membership.2.4
1United States vs. Osama bin Laden, indictment, Nov. 4, 1998.
2Jamal al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 2, Feb. 6, 2001.
3Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 4, Feb. 13, 2001.
4U.S. Defense Department press release and bio of Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, released April 27, 2007.
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