Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's Deputy Operations Chief prior to bin Laden's death, assumed the role of commander, according to an announcement by al-Qaeda on June 16, 2011.
The number of individuals in the group who have undergone proper military training, and are capable of commanding insurgent forces, is largely unknown.
When asked about the possibility of al-Qaeda's connection to the July 7, 2005 London bombings in 2005, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "Al-Qaeda is not an organization. What exactly al-Qaeda is, or was, remains in dispute.
Certainly, it has been obliged to evolve and adapt in the aftermath of 9/11 and the launch of the 'war on terror'.
Participant in the Global War on Terrorism, War in Afghanistan, War in North-West Pakistan, Somali Civil War, Insurgency in the Maghreb, Iraq War, Iraqi insurgency, al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen, Syrian Civil War, Arab Spring, and other conflicts Khorasan Group Al-Qaeda in Sinai Peninsula Imam Shamil Battalion Al-Qaeda Kurdish Battalions Al Qaeda in the Lands Beyond the Sahel Al-Qaeda in Bosnia and Herzegovina Al-Qaeda in Mali Al-Qaeda in Spain Al-Qaeda in the Malay Archipelago, translation: "The Base", "The Foundation" or "The Fundament" and alternatively spelled al-Qaida, al-Qæda and sometimes al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 Al-Qaeda operates as a network made up of Islamic extremist, Salafist jihadists.
It has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, Russia, India, and various other countries (see below). government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror".