Biden Confirms Al Qaida Leader al-Zawahiri Killed in Afghanistan
by Stefan Bos, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – American President Joe Biden said late Monday that “justice has been delivered” after a U.S. drone strike killed terror group al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan.
As he addressed the nation, Biden revealed that al-Zawahiri had moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with members of his immediate family. “After carefully considering clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all,” Biden explained.
Biden said the counterterrorism operation was “successful” and that “there were no civilian casualties.” And, “None of his family members were hurt,” Biden stressed.
Sunday’s drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital was carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The president said the attack was needed as Zawahiri had “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens.”
Zawahiri, 71, took over the leadership of al-Qaida after the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. He and Bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people, and he was one of the U.S.’s “most wanted terrorists.”
“For decades, he was the mastermind behind attacks against Americans,” Biden said, noting the 2000 USS Cole attack that killed 17 U.S. Navy sailors while about 30 were injured.
Al-Zawahiri was also blamed for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people.
“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said.
Biden claimed this operation was “a clear demonstration” that his administration would be vigilant regarding al-Qaida threats.
“He [al-Zawahiri] will never again – never again – allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist haven because he is gone, and we are going to make sure that nothing else happens,” Biden said.
“He [al-Zawahiri] will never again – never again – allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist haven because he is gone. And we will make sure that nothing else happens,” Biden pledged.
Biden detailed al-Zawahiri’s role in leading al-Qaida since Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in 2011, including urging followers in recent weeks to attack the U.S. and allies in videos.
“We make it clear tonight that, 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,” Biden said.
“He [al-Zawahiri] will never again – never again – allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist haven because he is gone, and we are going to make sure that nothing else happens,” Biden pledged.
“The United States did not seek this war on terrorism. But we never give in,” he said. “We will never forget,” he added, referring to the “innocent lives” of those who died in the 9/11 terror acts and other attacks linked to al-Zawahri. “We will never give up.”
Afghanistan’s ruling Islamist Taliban group expressed outrage about the attack. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns this attack on whatever the pretext,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, using the official name for the Taliban government.
He called the strike a “blatant violation of international principles and the Doha agreement.” Mujahid referred to the 2020 pact his group had signed with the U.S., which led to the withdrawal of all American and allied troops from Afghanistan last August, after almost 20 years of war with the Taliban.
“Such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the United States of America, Afghanistan, and the region,” the Taliban added.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15 as the U.S.-led foreign troops withdrew and the Western-backed government in Kabul, as well as its security forces, collapsed amid a nationwide Taliban assault.
The U.S. -led military coalition invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and dislodged the then-Taliban government in Kabul to punish it for harboring the al-Qaida terror network. Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri escaped the international military action. But U.S. special forces later located and killed Bin Laden deep inside neighboring Pakistan in May 2011. It took more than a decade before his former deputy-turned-leader al-Zawahiri would be killed.
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