From Long War Journals analysis least anyone thing these events random,
Some have argued that bin Laden was an isolated fanatic during his final days. But the fact pattern here, as with other evidence, shows that he was still involved in managing the terror network's operations just months before his death.
The outcome of al Qaeda central's power play is not entirely known. But this episode demonstrates that in the not-too-distant past, al Qaeda central was able to order AQIM to stand down in its hostage negotiations.
Given that Belmokhtar's spokesman admitted that he was operating "under the orders of al Qaeda central" just last month, we are left to wonder what role (if any) bin Laden's successor, Ayman al Zawahiri, has played in recent events.