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

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“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.

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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.