US Drone strike kills Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri

55
SHARE

On Monday evening President Joe Biden spoke from the White House. He announced that top Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Al-Zawahiri was killed at around 6:18 a.m. local time Saturday, July 30, which is just before 10 p.m. Friday Eastern Standard time in Washington DC. 

Two Hellfire missiles fired from drones were used to take out al-Zawahiri. he was standing on the balcony of the Al-Qaeda safe house.  And it was reported that no civilians or family members of the terrorist were killed in the attack. 

Signup for the USA Herald exclusive Newsletter

The terrorist leader was one of the “masterminds” of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the US. And he became the leader of Al Qaeda after the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. 

The CIA directed the U.S. counterterrorism operation over the weekend in Afghanistan. And according to a senior White House official he had been located and under covert observation since early this year. 

“Justice has been delivered. And this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a rare evening address from the White House. “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.”

“He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats, and American interests,” Biden added.

Precision US drone strike targeted Al-Qaeda leader

The CIA directed the U.S. counterterrorism operation over the weekend in Afghanistan. And according to a senior White House official he had been located and under covert observation since early this year. 

Over the years al-Zawahiri continued to direct attacks against the U.S. and its allies. But his whereabouts were unknown.

This year U.S. intel agents discovered that al-Zawahiri had moved to a Taliban-supported location in downtown Kabul. Al-Zawahiri’s wife and children were already in the “safe house.”

Through covert surveillance of his daily habits a “pattern of life” was developed.

Using precision drones with pinpoint accuracy the plan was to minimize the risk to civilians. The balcony was the logical place to strike, to avoid damage inside the building.

Biden was told of the plan on July 1.  CIA Director William Burns, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and Christine Abizaid, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center coordinated the attack.

The US claims it has a legal basis for the operation since Al-Zawahiri had a continuing leadership role in Al Qaeda.

Administration officials said Monday that the Taliban was not told of the strike in advance.  Al-Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan was a violation of the Doha Agreement signed by the U.S. and the Taliban in 2020.