One of the al-Qaeda terrorist leaders involved with the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States is no more. Ayman al-Zawahiri carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats and American interests and finally a CIA drone strike killed al-Zawahiri. Justice has finally been delivered.
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Osama bin Laden’s Right-Hand Man
Al-Zawahiri was second in command to Osama bin Laden during the 9/11 attacks and took over as Al Qaeda leader in 2011 after U.S. forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan. In that role, al-Zawahiri continued to call for attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
In 2001, al-Zawahiri escaped U.S. forces when they invaded Afghanistan and toppled the previous Taliban government, which had refused to hand over bin Laden in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts were long unknown.
Finding Ayman al-Zawahiri
U.S. intelligence located al-Zawahiri earlier this year,
al-Zawahiri had moved from Pakistan to a Taliban-supported safe house in downtown Kabul. Al-Zawahiri’s wife and children had relocated there first, officials said. As U.S. intelligence officials monitored them, they learned al-Zawahiri had joined his family. Once al-Zawahiri arrived at the safe house he never left. Authorities then spent months identifying a “pattern of life,” tracking his daily habits to avoid civilian casualties.
He was playing an active role at a strategic level and directing al-Qaeda, and continuing to pose a severe threat against the United States and American citizens everywhere so President Joe Biden reluctant at first, sought council multiply times, dragging on al-Zawahiri’s demise until all of the president’s national security team had recommended he approve the strike. President Biden finally authorized the airstrike and signed off allowing intelligence officials to take out al Zawahiri.
Taking Out Al-Zawahiri
Two Hellfire missiles were fired at al-Zawahiri while he was on the balcony of the safe house. Al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike at 6:18 a.m. local time on Saturday, July 30th 2022. No civilians or family members of al-Zawahiri were killed in the attack. The Haqqani Taliban whisked the family away after the attack.