President Joe Biden on Monday announced the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and said that he hoped that the killing of the Al-Qaeda chief will help bring “closure" to families of those killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.
“It is my hope that this decisive action will bring one more measure of closure," he said in a national address.
The US president said that when Al-Zawahiri was killed, there were no civilian casualty or deaths among the family members. Biden said he gave the final go-ahead for the high-precision strike that successfully targeted Zawahiri in the Afghan capital over the weekend.
“Al Zawahiri carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American servicemembers, American diplomats and American interests,” Biden said. “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more", he further 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
Biden added the Al Qaeda leader was killed in a drone strike and there was no presence of US soldiers on the ground. According to the US, Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul was a “clear violation" of accords by Taliban signed with the US in Doha in 2020 that paved the way for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“If you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you," Biden said in the address.
“The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm. Tonight we made clear: No matter how long it takes. No matter where you try to hide. We will find you," he said in a tweet later.
A senior administration official said Zawahiri was on the balcony of a house in Kabul when he was targeted with two Hellfire missiles, an hour after sunrise on July 31, and that there had been no US boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a comfortable Cairo household before turning to violent radicalism, had been on the run for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. He took over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011, and had a $25 million US bounty on his head.
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