Published: Aug 06, 2010 11:46 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 06, 2010 7:39 PM EDT

 MIAMI (AP) - The FBI says the man who's now in charge of making "operational decisions" for al-Qaida is very familiar with the United States.

An FBI counterterrorism agent tells The Associated Press that Adnan Shukrijumah (SHOOK'-ree-joohm-HAH') lived in the U.S. for 15 years. He's thought to be the only al-Qaida leader to have once held permanent U.S. resident status, or a green card.

He moved to South Florida in 1995 when his father, a Muslim cleric, took a post at a Florida mosque after several years in New York. He attended community college and excelled at computer science and chemistry.

Now, according to FBI agent Brian LeBlanc, Shukrijumah is in charge of designing and approving terrorism plots and recruits, a job once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (HAH'-leed shayk moh-HAH'-med), who was captured in 2003.

Shukrijumah was named earlier this year in a federal indictment as a conspirator in the case against three men accused of plotting suicide bomb attacks on New York's subway system.