DUBAI (Agencies) - Al-Qaeda on Thursday named its second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to succeed slain chief Osama bin Laden and vowed to relentlessly pursue its jihad against the United States and Israel. The general command of Al-Qaeda announces, after consultations, the appointment of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri as head of the group, the jihadist network said in statement posted on an Islamist website. Egyptian Zawahiri, the groups long-time number two, succeeds bin Laden who was killed by US commandos in a May 2 raid in Pakistan. The statement said that under Zawahiris leadership Al-Qaeda would relentlessly pursue its 'jihad (holy war) against the United States and Israel. We seek with the aid of God to call for the religion of truth and incite our nation to fight ... by carrying out jihad against the apostate invaders ... with their head being crusader America and its servant Israel, and whoever supports them, said the statement. The fight would continue until all invading armies leave the land of Islam. The extremist network affirmed that it would not recognise any legitimacy of the so-called State of Israel. We will not accept or adhere to any agreement or accord that recognises it (Israel) or that robs a mile from Palestine, whether it is the United Nations controlled by top criminals or any other organisation. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said it backed al-Zawahri as Qaedas new leader and vowed to carry out attacks against Western targets. TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan described Zawahri as an capable person and said the former Egyptian doctor would inspire the group to take on the West. We have been carrying out our activities which, inshallah, will gather more momentum. We will get revenge for the oppression by the West, he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. Al-Qaeda also voiced its support (to) the uprisings of our oppressed Muslim people against the corrupt and tyrant leaders who have made our nation suffer in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya Yemen, Syria and Morocco. A wave of revolts that have rocked the Middle East and North Africa since December have succeeded in toppling autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia while others, such as Libyas Moamer Gaddafi and Syrias Bashar al-Assad are still battling uprisings in their countries. Al-Qaeda urged those involved in the uprisings to continue their struggle until the fall of all corrupt regimes that the West has forced onto our countries. The extremist group made no mention of the Shiite-led uprising in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, crushed in mid-March by the ruling Western-allied Sunni minority which was backed by joint Gulf Arab forces. In the last part of the statement however, the network reminds that our religion has forbidden oppression, against Muslims and non-Muslims, against friend and foe. Therefore, we assure every oppressed human in this world most of whom are the victims of Western and American crimes that our religion is that of justice and equality, it said. Like his slain Saudi-born co-kingpin, the 59-year-old surgeon Zawahiri has been hiding ever since the United States declared its war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Zawahiri, now the United States most wanted man, was jailed for three years in Egypt for militancy and was implicated in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981, and a 1997 massacre of tourists in Luxor. Facing a death sentence, he left Egypt in the mid-1980s initially for Saudi Arabia, but soon headed for Pakistans northwestern city of Peshawar where the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was based, and then to Afghanistan, where he joined forces with bin Laden. Zawahiri, gifted with brains but bereft of bin Ladens potent charisma, has long been seen as the mastermind behind the global terror franchise. From hiding, he has issued video missives calling for war on the West. The most recent was a filmed eulogy to bin Laden, vowing to pursue jihad in a tape reported by the SITE Intelligence Group on June 8. It was a message of loyalty to bin Laden, whom analysts believe alone had the charisma capable of uniting an increasingly disparate group divided between Egyptians and non-Egyptian Arabs. The eulogy came nearly a month after a Saudi newspaper reported on May 5 that as the struggle for power simmered within the network, Zawahiri led US troops to bin Laden through his courier. Al-Watan newspaper, quoting an unnamed regional source, had said the top two Al-Qaeda men had differences and that the courier was a Pakistani national who knew he was being followed by the US military but disguised the fact. With the return of an Egyptian figure in Al-Qaeda, Saif al-Adel, last autumn from Iran, the Egyptian faction had hatched a plan to dispose of Saudi-born bin Laden, according to Al-Watan. It said Zawahiris faction had persuaded bin Laden to leave tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border and take shelter instead in Abbottabad near Islamabad where he was finally unearthed and shot dead by elite US Navy SEALs. Meanwhile, the United States dismissed new Al-Qaeda supremo Ayman al-Zawahiri as a pale imitation of Osama bin Laden and warned the Egyptian to expect a similar fate to his slain predecessor. US officials painted the 59-year-old long-time number two as an armchair general with no combat experience, saying he not only lacked charisma and leadership skills but was also a divisive figure who could fracture Al-Qaeda. Top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen told Zawahiri to expect the same treatment meted out to bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in the dead of night in a May 2 raid on his hideout in Pakistan. As we did both seek to capture and kill and succeed in killing bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri, said Mullen, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, giving his valedictory press briefing at the Pentagon, could barely disguise his scorn, but warned that the announcement should serve as a reminder of the continuing Al-Qaeda threat. First of all I think we should be mindful that this announcement by Al-Qaeda reminds us that despite having suffered a huge loss... Al-Qaeda seeks to perpetuate itself, seeks to find replacements for those who have been killed, and remains committed to the agenda that bin Laden put before them. But Gates, who joked that it was probably tough to count votes when youre in a cave, said Zawahiri faced some challenges. Bin Laden has been the leader of Al-Qaeda essentially since its inception, he said. In that particular context he had a peculiar charisma that I think Zawahiri does not have. I think he was much more operationally engaged than we have the sense Zawahiri has been.