The United States on Tuesday killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan, US president Joe Biden confirmed. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) carried out an operation killing Ayman al-Zawahiri outside Kabul on Sunday.
“(Ayman al-Zawahiri) carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens. Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said.
On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully conducted an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al-Qa’ida: Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Justice has been delivered.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 1, 2022
Zawahiri was standing on the balcony of a safe house when a drone fired two missiles at him. Zawahiri’s other family members were present but only the terror mastermind was killed in the mission.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 1, 2022
The slain terrorist took over as the al-Qaeda chief following the death of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011. Both were responsible for plotting the 9/11 attacks and became of US’ most wanted terrorists.
Happening Now: President Biden addresses the nation on a successful counterterrorism operation. https://t.co/JiYnzn5TUj
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 1, 2022
Biden further added that Zawahiri’s death would bring closure to the families of the victims of 9/11 attacks.
He also reminded citizens that Zawahiri was the mastermind of several other terrorist attacks including the suicide bombing of the USS Cole naval destroyer in Aden in October 2000 in which 17 US soldiers were killed.
“No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out. We shall never waver from defending our nation and its people,” Biden said.
Taliban leaders were enraged on receiving the news and said the US operation was in violation of international principles. A spokesman said that act was a repetition of the ‘failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the US and Afghanistan’, news agency BBC reported.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was once an eye surgeon, helped in the founding of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. He was appointed al-Qaeda chief after Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces in May 2011.
The chief ideologue of the terrorist group was also referred to as Osama’s right hand man. Security experts believe Zawahiri played an operative role in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
Ayman al-Zawahiri released several videos during his time as chief of al-Qaeda with an aim to recruit more Muslims to the terrorist group.
He also came out in support of a female student in Karnataka who protested against the hijab ban in educational institutions of the state and in a video read out a poem praising her actions.
The student, Muskan Khan, confronted a mob of students who got into an argument with her because Khan was wearing a headscarf.
(with inputs from the BBC)