Prime al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri killed in Afghanistan in U.S. operation

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White Home officers famous in a press release that the USA carried out a “profitable” counterterrorism operation in opposition to a major al-Qaeda goal

A CIA drone strike has killed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan, in line with 5 individuals accustomed to the matter.

Present and former officers started listening to Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, however the administration delayed releasing the knowledge till his dying could possibly be confirmed, in line with one particular person, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate the matter.

White Home officers declined to substantiate al-Zawahri was killed however famous in a press release that the USA carried out a “profitable” counterterrorism operation in opposition to a major al-Qaeda goal, including that “there have been no civilian casualties.”

Lengthy sought ‘justice’: Biden

President Joe Biden mentioned in a night handle on August 1 from the White Home that U.S. intelligence officers tracked al-Zawahri to a house in downtown Kabul the place he was hiding out together with his household. The President authorized the operation final week and it was carried out on Sunday.

Al-Zawahri and the higher recognized Osama bin Laden plotted the 9/11 assaults that introduced many peculiar Individuals their first information of al-Qaeda. Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan on Might 2, 2011, in operation carried out by U.S. Navy Seals after an almost decade-long hunt.

“He won’t ever once more, by no means once more, enable Afghanistan to turn out to be a terrorist protected haven as a result of he’s gone and we’re going to be sure that nothing else occurs,” Mr. Biden mentioned.

“This terrorist chief isn’t any extra,” he added.

The operation is a major counterterrorism win for the Biden administration simply 11 months after American troops left the nation after a two-decade struggle.

The strike was carried out by the Central Intelligence Company, in line with 5 individuals accustomed to the matter who spoke on the situation of anonymity. Neither Mr. Biden nor the White Home detailed the CIA’s involvement within the strike.

Mr. Biden, nevertheless, paid tribute to the U.S. intelligence group in his remarks, noting that “due to their extraordinary persistence and ability” the operation was a “success.”

Elimination of a key determine

Al-Zawahri’s loss eliminates the determine who greater than anybody formed al-Qaeda, first as bin Laden’s deputy since 1998, then as his successor. Collectively, he and bin Laden turned the jihadi motion’s weapons to focus on the USA, finishing up the deadliest assault ever on American soil — the September 11 suicide hijackings.

The home Al-Zawahri was in when he was killed was owned by a prime aide to senior Taliban chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, in line with a senior intelligence official. The official additionally added {that a} CIA floor workforce and aerial reconnaissance carried out after the drone strike confirmed al-Zawahri’s dying.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters on the operation on situation of anonymity mentioned “zero” U.S. personnel had been in Kabul.

Over the 20-year struggle in Afghanistan, the U.S. focused and splintered al-Qaeda, sending leaders into hiding. However America’s exit from Afghanistan final September gave the extremist group the chance to rebuild. U.S. navy officers, together with Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, have mentioned al-Qaeda was attempting to reconstitute in Afghanistan, the place it confronted restricted threats from the now-ruling Taliban. Army leaders have warned that the group nonetheless aspired to assault the U.S.

The 2001 assaults on the World Commerce Middle and Pentagon made bin Laden America’s Enemy No. 1. However he possible might by no means have carried it out with out his deputy. Bin Laden supplied al-Qaeda with charisma and cash, however al-Zawahri introduced techniques and organisational abilities wanted to forge militants right into a community of cells in international locations all over the world.

U.S. intelligence officers have been conscious for years of a community serving to al-Zawahri dodge U.S. intelligence officers looking for him, however didn’t have a bead on his potential location till current months.

Earlier this yr, U.S. officers realized that the fear chief’s spouse, daughter and her youngsters had relocated to a protected home in Kabul, in line with the senior administration official who briefed reporters.

Officers ultimately realized al-Zawahri was additionally on the Kabul protected home.

 

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