Top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, US president Joe Biden said on August 2.
Al-Zawahiri allegedly oversaw the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001, that killed 2,977 people, along with Osama bin-Laden, who was killed by the US in 2011 in Pakistan.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian by birth who had trained to be a medical doctor, had a US reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture. The US holds him responsible also for the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and on its naval ship USS Cole in 2000.
On August 2, in a broadcast, US president Joe Biden said that the al-Qaida leader was killed by US drone strike in Kabul. Biden hailed the operation as delivering “justice” while expressing hope that it brings “one more measure of closure” to families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
He added that the US intelligence officials tracked al-Zawahri to a home in downtown Kabul where he was hiding out with his family. The president approved the operation last week and it was carried out on July 31.
“He will never again, never again, allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone and we’re going to make sure that nothing else happens,” Biden said.
I’m addressing the nation on a successful counterterrorism operation. https://t.co/SgTVaszA3s
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 1, 2022
“This terrorist leader is no more,” he added.
Al-Qaida leader al-Zawahiri was killed by two Hellfire missiles fired at him from a CIA-run drone while he was on the balcony of a house in Kabul where he had been staying with his family. No members of his family or other civilians were wounded or killed in the strike, according to US officials who briefed reporters.