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Top al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Killed in US Drone Strike

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan — ending the reign of Osama bid Laden’s successor and fellow Sept. 11 plotter — and marking the most significant US counter-terror operation since the 2019 slaying of ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

President Biden confirmed al-Zawahiri’s death during an evening address in which he declared, “Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more.”

“Now 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,” Biden said.

“After carefully considering the clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized the precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.”

Biden said, “For decades, he was the mastermind behind the attacks against Americans, including the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, which killed 17 American sailors and wounded dozens more.”

“He played a key role, a key role in the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and wounding over 4,500 others. He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats and American interests.”

None of al-Zawahiri’s family members were hurt and there were no civilian casualties, the president said, calling the mission to eliminate the terrorist leader a “total success.”

The president also warned: “To those around the world who have continued to seek to harm the United States, hear me now: We will always remain vigilant and we will act and we will always do what is necessary to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the globe.”

Biden’s remarks from the Blue Room balcony of the White House were reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s late-night announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan more than 11 years ago.

“After relentlessly seeking Zawahiri for years under Presidents Bush. Obama and Trump, our intelligence community located Zawahiri earlier this year,” Biden said.

“He had moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with members of his immediate family. After carefully considering the clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized a precision strike to remove him from the battlefield once and for all.

“This mission was carefully planned and rigorously to minimize the risk of harm to other civilians. And one week ago, after being advised the conditions were optimal, I gave the final approval to go get him.”

Biden added: “We 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.”

“You know, it can’t be a launching pad against the United States. We’re gonna see to it that won’t happen,” he said.

“This operation is a clear demonstration that we will, we can and will always make good on that solid, solid pledge.

Fox News, citing two intelligence sources, first reported on the death of the Egyptian-born surgeon who took over the terrorist group behind the Sept. 11 attacks after bin Laden was killed by Navy SEAL Team 6 in 2011.

Al-Zawahiri had a $25 million bounty on his head over his indictment in the 1998 embassy bombings.

He’s also believed to have helped coordinate the atrocities that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Penn., 21 years ago, which were masterminded by bin Laden and planned by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003 is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pending trial in by a military tribunal.

READ 1 COMMENT
  • John E. Truitt says:

    This was nothing more than a deflection to make Biden look stronger as a president than he actually is. Clinton did the same thing during his impeachment trial by firing a missile at Afghanistan. If Biden really was stronger, he could have used the drones to take out the equipment at Bagram long ago, instead of letting it fall into China`s hands. He would not have allowed American citizens and American allies to have been left behind in Afghanistan. He is weak and appeared weaker when he had to back down over the phone to China`s leader last week. China and Russia will see this strike for what it was–will America?

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