Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the American military was able to successfully kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Quaeda, on Sunday in a counter-terrorism drone strike carried out by the CIA in the capital of Kabul.
Al-Zawahiri’s death is said to be the most significant blow to the terrorist group since the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It was confirmed that al-Zawahiri assisted Bin Laden in plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His terror put a $25 million bounty on his head, marking him as one of America’s most wanted. The 71-year-old Egyptian doctor quickly took over al-Qaeda after the death of Bin Laden in 2011.
In Biden’s speech, the American leader claimed that intelligence learned of al-Zawahiri’s family location before mentioning that none of his family members were harmed. He added that he had given the final approval for the “precision strike” after months of intense planning.
Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, “The strike was carried out on a residential house in the Sherpur area of Kabul, a diplomatic enclave where many Taliban leaders live now.”
Officials said Zawahiri was on the balcony of a safe house when the drone fired two missiles at him. The Taliban confirmed the attack in Kabul without offering up al-Zawahiri’s current status. Still, in its statement released on Sunday, the Taliban condemned the action as a “violation of international principles.”
Three members of the Taliban refused to comment on Tuesday, making it seem like the Taliban was carefully choosing what to disclose to the public. The tight lips came as the U.S. accused the military-led government of violating an agreement between the two countries by sheltering al-Zawahiri. The fact that the Taliban had set up a drag-net around the building and that journalists were forbidden from being close by also piqued interest in what the Taliban and al-Zawahiri’s relationship was.
In his celebratory speech, Biden said al-Zawahiri had “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens.” As he stood in front of a live speech declaring the death, the American leader added, “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.”
Al-Qaeda has yet to issue a statement.
White House spokesman John Kirby warned Al Qaeda and those harboring the group during an interview with MSNBC, “We are still going to stay vigilant, we’re still going to stay capable.”
The 9/11 attacks resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 innocents who went to work like every other day. Approximately 344 victims were firemen; Andrew Ansbro, president of the New York Firefighters Association, thanked President Biden for “helping to bring another level of closure to all impacted by these attacks.”