New York State In-depth

Afghanistan Zawahiri, Al-Qaida Leader Killed in Drone Attack

Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, was killed by U.S. drone missiles in Afghanistan’s capital, President Joe Biden announced yesterday.

Zawahiri was killed as a result of an over-the-horizon attack in Kabul. Two Hellfire missiles struck Zawahiri’s house in a precision-based counterterrorism operation at 6/18 a.m. Kabul. Zawahiri was the only casualty. A senior administration official stated that Zawahiri was the only victim. “His killing is a significant blow to al Qaida. It will also degrade the group’s ability of operation, even against the U.S. homeland.”
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Zawahiri was the leader and commander of al-Qaida, the terrorist group that emerged from the death Osama be Laden’s on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad (Pakistan). Zawahiri was bin Laden’s deputy and helped plan terrorist attacks against the United States, Americans overseas. This included the attack in 2000 on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors. There were also attacks in 1998 on U.S. embassies Tanzanian and Kenya that killed 224 persons and wounded over 4,500. “He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats and American interests,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden said Zawahiri was responsible for al-Qaida’s global branches since bin Laden’s demise. He also set priorities and provided operational direction that encouraged attacks against U.S. target targets.

The president stated that justice had been done and that the terrorist leader was no longer in power. “People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer. The United States continues showing its resolve to defend American citizens from those who seek to harm us.

Locating Zawahiri was the result of careful, patient and persistent work by counterterrorism professionals, a defense official said. The official stated that the president’s quick and decisive action made it possible to respond quickly to the situation. “We were able to conduct the operation in a way that minimized civilian casualties, once we had a good idea of where Zawahiri was located.” “We want to make it clear tonight that no matter how long it takes or where you hide, if you pose a threat, the United States will find your location and take you out.

The mission to kill Zawahiri comes almost exactly a year after Biden ended the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. “I made the decision after 20 year of war that the United States no more needed thousands of boots in Afghanistan to protect America’s interests from terrorists who seek our harm,” he stated at the White House. “And I made a promise the American people to continue to conduct effective counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan. We’ve done it.”

Antony Blinken, Secretary to the United States, stated in writing that the Taliban had violated the terms of its agreement by hosting al-Qaida’s leader. “By hosting and sheltered the leader al-Qaida Kabul, the Taliban grossly breached the Doha Agreement.” The Taliban also repeatedly assured the world that they would not permit terrorists to use Afghan territory in order to threaten the security of other nations. They also betrayed Afghans as well as their stated desire to be normalized and recognized by the international community.

Blinken stated that, despite the Taliban’s inability or unwillingness to honor their promises, the United States will continue to support Afghan people with robust humanitarian aid and advocate for the protection and promotion of their human rights, particularly women and girls. Source:

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