United States Airstrike Kills Al Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Afghanistan


The United States military successfully carried out an attack that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda on Monday.

The terror leader was killed by the CIA through a precision drone strike in Afghanistan. The strike was conducted by 13:48 GMT on Sunday in Kabul by an order from the US president, Joe Biden.

Ayman al-Zawahiri's role in Al Qaeda Operations

Until his demise, Ayman al-Zawahiri was the leader of al Qaeda and the most wanted terrorist after Osama Bin Laden with a $25 million reward on his head. He was the visible and most notable leader of Al Qaeda and Osama's successor. Many believe that he was the mastermind of the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center in New York that killed over 2000 people, and other targeted attacks against the US in the Middle East.

United States Airstrike Kills Al Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Afghanistan
Osama Bin Laden(left) and Zawahiri (right) Credit: Getty Images via AFP

Osama Bin Laden only became more popular because of his prominent background and riches which enabled him to be the main sponsor of Al Qaeda. Zawahiri, on the other hand, came from a humble background but played a key role in the existence and operations of Al Qaeda around the world.

He was an Egyptian doctor and the personal physician to Osama Biden, at some point, but rose to top leadership position of Al Qaeda after the death of Osama in 2011.

Ayman al-Zawahiri was reportedly sheltering with his family in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan when the US drone targeted him through intelligent information by the CIA. US report, however, stressed that no US personnel was on ground in Kabul during the attack.

Press Release from the US President

In his statement, the US president, Joe Biden, expressed his satisfaction over the success of the operation and announced that the US intelligence located the al Qaeda leader earlier this year but decided to carry out the attack later to avoid civilian casualty. He expressed the US readiness to target every threat against the US and its allies around the world.

“Now justice has been delivered and this terror leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined leader”, Biden said in his press release. “We make it clear again 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”, he added.

How does this attack influence the Doha Agreement?

The Taliban, who is now in charge of the government of Afghanistan, describes the attack of the terror leader as illegal and strongly condemns that it.

“This is a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement”, the Taliban Spokesperson, Zaiullah Mujahid, tweeted.

United States Airstrike Kills Al Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Afghanistan

Ayman al-Zawahiri

The US secretary of states, Antony Blinken, on the other hand, said that the presence of Zawahiri in Kabul is a great violation of the Doha Agreement and the failure of the Taliban's repeated assurance of the world that Afghanistan will not be used to breed terrorists.

This is not the first of such successful operations by the United States this year against terror organizations. Early last month, the US air strike killed a top ISIS in Iraq. This is just one of the continuous global counter-terrorism operations by the US government after the 9/11 attack.

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