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Al Qaeda Stalls on Naming Osama Bin Laden Successor 

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the reasons that al Qaeda has not yet named a replacement for Osama bin Laden is because there's possible confusion within the ranks as to who was actually second-in-command during the slain leader's long tenure.

It was reported in The Wall Street Journal that the person assumed to be bin Laden's top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, actually "parted ways" with his boss six years ago.

According to a senior Pakistani intelligence official quoted by the newspaper, al-Zawahiri was "marginalized" and lost popularity because he didn't have the funds to continue helping underwrite al Qaeda operations.

However, the The Wall Street Journal also cites U.S. officials as questioning any rift between al-Zawahiri, the group's chief ideologue and operational commander, and bin Laden.

The 59-year-old is still believed to be the logical choice to run al Qaeda, which indeed may have cash-flow problems, U.S. counterterrorism officials told the Journal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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