The United States eliminated the number one of Al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri

"Justice has been served and this terrorist leader is no more.

The United States eliminated the number one of Al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri

"Justice has been served and this terrorist leader is no more." The United States killed, in the night from Saturday to Sunday, the number 1 of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. "On my orders, the United States carried out an airstrike on Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed the emir of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri," US President Joe Biden said on Monday. during a brief address from the White House.

Egyptian Zawahiri was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. The United States promised 25 million dollars for any information allowing him to be found. The man had taken the head of the jihadist nebula in 2011, after the death of Osama bin Laden, killed by an American commando in Pakistan. Untraceable for more than ten years, he was considered one of the masterminds of the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States. His death will allow the families of victims killed in the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in New York, and at the headquarters of the Pentagon near Washington, "to turn the page", according to the Democratic president, who recently tested positive for Covid-19.

For the organization, this is a new blow to his command. Al-Qaeda had already lost, two years ago, its number 2, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, killed in the streets of Tehran by Israeli agents during a secret mission sponsored by Washington, information revealed a few months later by the New York Times.

Inheriting in 2011 from a weakened organization, Ayman al-Zawahiri, 71, had to survive, the "franchises" and allegiances of circumstances, from the Arabian Peninsula to the Maghreb, from Somalia to Afghanistan, Syria and in Iraq.

"More than 20 years after 9/11, the United States has finally caught up with Ayman al-Zawahiri, the close comrade and successor of Osama bin Laden", commented on Monday on Twitter Thomas Joscelyn, expert of the think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "Although it had many flaws, it was not as insignificant as many analysts assumed." "Who will now lead Al-Qaeda after Zawahiri's disappearance?" Also asked Colin Clarke, researcher at the American think tank Soufan Group.

Regarding the course of the operation, the drone attack against al-Zawahiri was carried out using two Hellfire missiles and without any American military presence on the ground, said an American official, proof according to him of the capacity of the United States "to identify and locate even the most wanted terrorists in the world and to take steps to eliminate them". Ayman al-Zawahiri had been spotted "multiple times and for long periods of time on the balcony where he was finally hit" by the strike in the Afghan capital, he added. No civilian casualties were to be deplored.

Over the weekend, the Afghan interior minister denied reports of a drone strike in Kabul, telling AFP that a rocket had hit "an empty house" in the capital. In a press release published on Twitter on Monday before Joe Biden's intervention, the Taliban spokesperson had however acknowledged the existence of an "air attack", attributed to an "American drone".

Al-Zawahiri's death should spark further debate. According to the United States, the presence of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul constituted a "clear violation" of the agreements reached in Doha in 2020 with the Taliban, which had pledged not to welcome Al-Qaeda on their soil, a noted a senior US official.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also added on Monday evening that by "hosting and sheltering" Zawahiri, the Taliban "grossly violated the Doha agreement" which provided for the departure of American troops from Afghanistan. A chaotic departure, moreover, which had allowed the Taliban to regain control of the country twenty years later. In their press release, the Afghan Islamists also accused the United States of having derogated from these agreements, by conducting a strike on their territory.

Saudi Arabia for its part welcomed "the death of the terrorist leader of Al-Qaeda" responsible for "the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the United States, Saudi Arabia and several other countries of the world", according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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