"I absolutely am convinced the reason he moved there in 2005 and 2006 is that he needed to take closer control of his globalized Jihad," she said. "This is precisely at the time when the affiliates are being created. This is precisely at the time when Iraq is becoming more and more al Qaeda's war. It is precisely the moment when the war in Afghanistan is about to take off."
Al Qaeda senior commanders pledged an oath of fealty known as "bayat" to bin Laden personally, but the oath "is not transferrable to anyone else, according to documents captured after the fall of the Taliban," said Mary Habeck, a former al Qaeda specialist on the White House National Security Council staff during the George W. Bush administration.