"Justice done": USA kills al-Qaeda boss al-Zawahiri with drone attack

After the death of Osama bin Laden, Aiman ​​al-Zawahiri became the head of al-Qaeda.

"Justice done": USA kills al-Qaeda boss al-Zawahiri with drone attack

After the death of Osama bin Laden, Aiman ​​al-Zawahiri became the head of al-Qaeda. For years, the Egyptian has been on the United States' list of most wanted international terrorists. At the weekend, the US military succeeded in gaining access: Al-Sawahiri died in a drone attack in Kabul.

The leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, Aiman ​​al-Zawahiri, has been killed in a US anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden announced in a televised address that al-Sawahiri was killed in a targeted attack in the Afghan capital Kabul over the weekend. According to the US government, it was a drone attack in which only the al-Qaeda boss died. There were no civilian casualties.

Egyptian Al-Zawahiri succeeded Osama bin Laden, who was thought to be the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011. Now the Americans have also eliminated his successor - in Afghanistan, a year after the chaotic withdrawal of troops from the country. Biden himself commented on the attack on the terrorist group during a short-term appearance in the White House - in a speech on a balcony at government headquarters. The President is currently in isolation due to a coronavirus infection.

Al-Zawahiri was bin Laden's deputy at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks and rose to the top after his death, Biden said. For decades, Al-Sawahiri was the mastermind behind attacks on Americans and played a key role in various terrorist attacks. "Now justice has been done. And that terrorist leader is no more."

A senior US official said the attack on al-Zawahiri had been in preparation for months. He was finally killed when he stepped onto the balcony of his shelter in Kabul. None of Al-Zawahiri's family members who were with him in the house were injured. She emphasized that no US forces were in Kabul during the operation. According to US information, members of the Taliban leadership knew that the al-Qaeda boss was in the Afghan capital, the government official said. You would have clearly violated agreements with the United States.

Al-Sawahiri made his last public appearance last September - exactly 20 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In a video message he called on his supporters to fight the states in the West and their allies in the Middle East. In previous years, there had been unconfirmed rumors of his death. His exact whereabouts were unknown. There was also speculation about his state of health. Media reported in 2019, citing intelligence information, that Sawahiri was suffering from heart problems.

His death came as a surprise. The United States put a $25 million bounty on his head. Experts recently suspected that Al-Sawahiri was hiding in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Almost a year ago, at the end of August 2021, the USA withdrew all troops from Afghanistan, ending international military operations in the country after almost 20 years. The Taliban had just taken power in Kabul. The international withdrawal was made more difficult by their rapid campaign of conquest and turned out to be chaotic.

All in all, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan met with a great deal of criticism and incomprehension internationally. Biden, who was under pressure because of the debacle, had pledged at the time not to give up the fight against terrorism in the region. The US President now sees Zawahiri's death as proof that it is possible to protect America from terrorists even without thousands of soldiers on Afghan soil. The strike against al-Zawahiri is also a message to others: "No matter how long it takes, no matter where you are hiding, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and eliminate you."

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