Tuesday 2 August 2022 08:27 AM US kills Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri: Joe Biden hails assassination of Bin ... trends now

Tuesday 2 August 2022 08:27 AM US kills Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri: Joe Biden hails assassination of Bin ... trends now
Tuesday 2 August 2022 08:27 AM US kills Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri: Joe Biden hails assassination of Bin ... trends now

Tuesday 2 August 2022 08:27 AM US kills Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri: Joe Biden hails assassination of Bin ... trends now

President Joe Biden on Monday evening announced a CIA drone strike killed al Qaeda leader's Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's fanatical deputy who was the mastermind behind multiple attacks over the last two decades that have left thousands of Americans dead.

In his remarks, Biden repeatedly invoked the September 11th terrorist attacks, which al-Zawahiri helped plan, and said the slaying of the world's top terrorist target demonstrated the resolve of the US to go after terrorist leaders, no matter where they hide and how long it takes.

'Now, justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,' he said. 'We made 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.'

Al-Zawahiri, 71, was killed by two Hellfire 'Ninja' missiles - fitted with extending blades - fired from CIA drones as he stood on the balcony of his safe house in a wealthy area of downtown Kabul this weekend in a mission that took six months to plan.

His wife, daughter, and grandchildren were living with him but were not harmed, American officials said. The home targeted in the strike was owned by a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Interior Minister for the Taliban, who is close to senior al Qaeda officials and is wanted by the FBI for questioning.

Biden laid out al-Zawahiri's role in the terrorist organization, noting that, in addition to the 9/11 attacks, he was behind the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and the attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

'He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats, and American interests,' Biden said.

Biden concluded his remarks with a warning: 'To those around the world who continue 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.'

It was the United State's most significant strike against al Qaeda since the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Al-Zawahiri replaced bin Laden as the terrorist group's top leader.

Biden, who remains in isolation after a rebound case of COVID, made his address from the first floor balcony off the Blue Room of the White House.

Al-Zawahiri was on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list. There was a $25 million reward for information leading directly to him.

Elsewhere in the deadly attack:

The Taliban condemned the air strike in a statement and claimed that it 'violated international principles'; The heir apparent to al-Qaeda after the killing emerged as canny, military-trained operative Saif al-Adel; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, alleged Biden allowed the group to re-emerge.

President Joe Biden on Monday evening announced a CIA drone strike killed al Qaeda leader's Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's fanatical deputy who was the mastermind behind multiple attacks over the last two decades that have left thousands of Americans dead.

In his remarks, Biden repeatedly invoked the September 11th terrorist attacks, which al-Zawahiri helped plan, and said the slaying of the world's top terrorist target demonstrated the resolve of the United States to go after terrorist leaders, no matter where they hide and how long it takes

President Joe Biden on Monday evening announced a CIA drone strike killed al Qaeda leader's Ayman al-Zawahiri (pictured right earlier this year), Osama Bin Laden's fanatical deputy who was the mastermind behind multiple attacks over the last two decades that have left thousands of Americans dead 

Al-Zawahiri, 71, was killed by two Hellfire 'Ninja' missiles - fitted with extending blades - fired from CIA drones as he stood on the balcony of his safe house

Al-Zawahiri, 71, was killed by two Hellfire 'Ninja' missiles - fitted with extending blades - fired from CIA drones as he stood on the balcony of his safe house

The home was in a wealthy area of downtown Kabul and is believed to be linked to a high ranking Taliban official in its government

The home was in a wealthy area of downtown Kabul and is believed to be linked to a high ranking Taliban official in its government

Al-Zawahiri was Bin Laden's No 2 in Al-Qaeda, the radical jihadist network once led by the Saudi millionaire. The two are seen above in this September 2006 file photo. Al-Zawahiri took over the organization after Bin Laden was killed in a SEAL team raid in 2011, but he was being hunted by the U.S. as far back as 1998

Al-Zawahiri was Bin Laden's No 2 in Al-Qaeda, the radical jihadist network once led by the Saudi millionaire. The two are seen above in this September 2006 file photo. Al-Zawahiri took over the organization after Bin Laden was killed in a SEAL team raid in 2011, but he was being hunted by the U.S. as far back as 1998 

Al-Zawahiri, 71, was in a safehouse in Sherpur, a wealthy area of downtown Kabul that's home to multiple Taliban officials, when he was taken out in the drone strike

 Al-Zawahiri, 71, was in a safehouse in Sherpur, a wealthy area of downtown Kabul that's home to multiple Taliban officials, when he was taken out in the drone strike

The terrorist leader was killed by two Hellfire missiles - fitted with extending blades - fired from CIA drones in a mission that took six months to plan. U.S. officials didn't confirm the model, but it is believed they used the R9X 'Ninja' missile that don't have explosives and limit collateral damage

The terrorist leader was killed by two Hellfire missiles - fitted with extending blades - fired from CIA drones in a mission that took six months to plan. U.S. officials didn't confirm the model, but it is believed they used the R9X 'Ninja' missile that don't have explosives and limit collateral damage

From 9/11 to death on his balcony: How US tracked and killed Zawahiri 

Sept. 11, 2001 - Attack on twin towers of the World Trade Center. Al-Zawahiri is Osama bin Laden's top deputy and widely credited with masterminding the attack

May 2, 2011 - Successful US operation to take out bin Laden at compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan 

2011 - Al-Zawahiri succeeds bin Laden following the successful U.S. operation to take out world's top terror leader. US intelligence over several months gains 'increased confidence' terror leader's family has relocated to a safe house

Early April - Top security staffers are informed of 'developing intelligence'. Shortly thereafter, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan briefs President Biden 

US officials develop 'pattern of life' for Al-Zawahiri. Al-Zawahiri arrives at the safe house location; US not aware of him ever leaving after he arrived 

Al-Zawahiri continues to crank out videos attacking the US and allies.

The US then investigates 'construction and nature of the safe house' and building integrity so the strike could kill the terror leader without endangering civilians.

Officials undertake operation to determine the identity of all the people in the safe house. Officials 'systematically eliminated all reasonable options' other than a strike.

Officials hold a series of 'close-hold' briefing to vet intelligence. 'Key' agencies are brought into the process to make sure information is 'rock solid' and develop alternatives and minimize risks to civilians 

During the last few weeks of this period, Biden convenes several meetings with advisors and cabinet members to scrutinize intelligence

May and June - Biden receives updates

July 1 - Biden is briefed on a proposed operation in the White House Situation Room by key members of his cabinet. Attending are CIA Director William Burns, counterterrorism experts, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Finer

Biden examines a model that was constructed of the safe house inside the Situation Room. Biden requests further information on building plans and likely effects of a strike. Directs intel community to prepare impact analyses. Asks intel to consider risks to Mark Randall Frerichs, an American who disappeared in Afghanistan in 2020, impact on future access to Afghan air space, and on efforts to evacuate Afghan partners

June and July - Principals and deputies convene in Situation Room multiple times to 'test the intelligence picture'. 'Tight circle' of agency lawyers confirms legal basis. They conclude al-Zawahiri is a lawful target.

Biden asks all present for their view. 'All strongly recommended approval of this target' 

July 25 - Biden convenes advisors and key cabinet for final meeting on updated intel. Asks again about other options, the layout of rooms, and impacts. At the end of the meeting, Biden 'authorized a precise tailored airstrikes on the condition that have strike minimize, to the greatest extent possible the risk of civilian casualties.' 

 July 30, 9:48 pm EDT - US undertakes 'precision counterterrorism operation in Kabul' to take out al-Zawahiri 

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In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of 'international principles.' 

The strike was conducted on a residential house in Kabul's Sherpur area, a wealthy downtown neighborhood where several Taliban government officials live.

Al-Zawahiri was standing on the balcony of the three-story home when two R9X missiles - a hellfire missile armed with long blades aimed at killing targets with kinetic energy to minimize major collateral damage - struck. 

The hellfire missiles were developed for precision drone strikes and are often used against high-value targets. 

The strike was carried out in the early morning hours of Sunday Kabul time – 6:18 am there and 9:48 pm Saturday night in the United States after U.S. intelligence officials learned al-Zawahiri moved to Afghanistan in the last year.

'This year we identified that al-Zawahiri family his wife, his daughter, and her children relocated to a safe house in Kabul,' a senior administration official told reporters on a background briefing call ahead of Biden's speech.

Al-Zawahiri was never seen leaving that safe house, the official said.

The official said only al-Zawahiri was killed and that members of the Haqqani network, a terrorist group that is part of the Taliban government, removed his family from the safe house 'to another location consistent with a broader effort to cover up that they had been living in the space.'

'Al-Zawahiri family members were present in other parts of the safe house at the time of the strike, and were purposefully not targeted and were unharmed,' the official said.

Biden was first briefed on Al-Zawahiri's location on July 1. The official described their intelligence as 'rock solid.'

The official said Biden asked 'detailed questions' on their intelligence, examined a model of the house that intelligence officials built and brought into the Situation Room for him to see, and asked about the possibility of civilian casualties.

On July 25th, Biden made the decision to authorize the strike.

'He was particularly focused on ensuring that every step had been taken to ensure the operation would minimize that risk. And he wanted to understand the basis upon which we had confidence in our assessments. The President requested further information on the building plans and about likely effects of a strike,' the official said.

Biden was in isolation with his rebound case of covid when the strike was carried out but was kept informed when it began and when it ended, the official noted.

The Biden administration also made clear they expect the Taliban to abide by the terms of the Doha agreement, which outlined the terms for the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that al-Zawahiri's presence in the Afghan capitol city was a 'clear violation' of the agreement.

'Obviously this is a very important point for us to make clear that follow up on that we expect them to abide by the terms of the Doha agreement, and the presence of al-Zawahiri in downtown Kabul with a clear violation of that,' the official said.

'Going forward with the Taliban, we will continue to hold them accountable for their actions,' the officials.

'We will take action to protect our interests, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, which is firm that it al Qaeda should never be allowed to re-establish itself in Afghanistan.'

It was the first attack in Afghanistan since American forces left last year. It took six months to plan.

Biden was in isolation with his rebound case of covid when the strike was carried out but was kept informed when it began and when it ended, the official noted

Biden was in isolation with his rebound case of covid when the strike was carried out but was kept informed when it began and when it ended, the official noted

Al-Zawarihi and his family were living at home in Kabul owned by Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani (above)

Al-Zawarihi and his family were living at home in Kabul owned by Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani (above)

Al-Zawahiri's FBI wanted poster - there was a $25 million reward for information on him

Al-Zawahiri's FBI wanted poster - there was a $25 million reward for information on him

Fanatical ideologue whose new brand of terror prized massacring innocents: Ayman al-Zawahiri inspired Bin Laden to attack the US and wanted Al-Qaeda to get NUCLEAR weapons 

Al Quaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in a recorded message

Al Quaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in a recorded message

Osama bin Laden's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has been killed by a CIA drone strike, led a new brand of terror that prized massacring innocents, having inspired the former leader to gather nuclear and biological weapons.

Al-Zawahiri, who took over Al-Qaeda after Bin Laden's death in 2011, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan following the US strike.

The terrorist leader is said to have guided al-Qaeda to become one of the biggest radical movements, having been identified as a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. At 15, the Egyptian spearheaded his own militant group, Jamaat al-Jihad, that championed large-scale attacks and the murder of civilians.

As it grew, he later merged it with al-Qaeda in the 1990s, bringing this focus on indiscriminate killing to the terrorist group. The 71-year-old was on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list, having declared the US 'the far enemy', with a $25 million reward for information leading directly to him. The surgeon, also called The Doctor, led a terrorist lab developing biological weapons and was the force behind al-Qaeda's ambition to gain nuclear weapons.

'To kill Americans and their allies — civilian and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in every country in which it is possible to do it, al-Zawahiri wrote in a 1998 manifesto. Three years later, he helped to plan the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As part of this, al-Zawahiri was planned follow-on attacks across the US, and started a biological weapons program in Afghanistan. He sent group disciples out to find lethal strains of anthrax and scientists that would engage with his plans. 

However the Egyptian abandoned the biological weapons laboratory after a US-backed military effort forced Taliban allies of al-Qaeda out of power in Afghanistan. His own militant group began when he was 15, having organized an underground cell of friends to overthrow Egypt's Islamic theocracy and government, after it executed Qutb in 1966.

This cell grew to become the Jihad Group, which plotted the assassination of Egyptian leaders in the early 1980s, and was also involved in the killing of the country's president, Anwar Sadat on October 6, 1981, the Washington Post reported. 'We have sacrificed and we are still ready for more sacrifices until the victory of Islam,' he shouted in the courtroom. 

He was briefly jailed for three years for the possession of arms, having been acquitted of the main charges. Later, he claimed to have been tortured while behind bars. After his release, he began touring South Asia and became the personal doctor to Bin Laden. In 1997, while living in Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri was involved in planning an attack on Egyptian tourists visiting the Luxor ruins.

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President Biden, in his remarks, said the drone strike on al-Zawahiiri was evidence that he was right when he told Americans last summere that removing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan would not undermine the United States' ability to fight terrorism. 

'When I ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, I made the decision that after 20 years of war, the United States no longer needed thousands of boots on the ground in Afghanistan, to protect America from terrorists who seek to do us harm.

'And I made a promise to the American people that we would continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We've done just that,' he said.

Al-Zawahiri took over al Qaeda after bin Laden's death in 2011, when bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan in 2011.

In 1998, he was indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. 

On August 7, 1998, nearly simultaneous bombs blew up in front of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in Africa - 224 people died in the blasts, including 12 Americans, and more than 4,500 people were wounded.

Both he and bin Laden escaped U.S. forces in Afghanistan in late 2001. 

Zawahiri's whereabouts had long been a mystery.  Rumors have spread since late 2020 that al-Zawahiri had died from illness.

But he appeared in a new video in April, where he denounced the 'enemies of Islam.'

He appeared after a school in India banned the wearing of the hijab. 

Before April, Al-Zawahiri last appeared in a video last year marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, months after thee rumors spread that he was dead.

In that video, he proclaimed 'Jerusalem will never be Judaized' and praised al-Qaeda attacks – including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January 2021. SITE said al-Zawahiri also noted the US military's withdrawal from Afghanistan 20 years after the invasion.

Al-Zawahiri was born in Egypt in 1951 and worked as a surgeon.

He grew up in an upper-class neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a prominent physician and grandson of famous scholars.

An Islamic fundamentalist, al-Zawahiri joined the outlawed Egyptian Islamic Jihad group as a teenager, being jailed twice for helping plot assassinations of two Egyptian leaders.

He eventually became the group's leader, which was dedicated to the creation of an Islamic state in Egypt, and in the 1980s he joined Mujahedeen fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

There he befriended and joined forces with bin Laden, becoming his personal physician.

He formally merged his group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, with al Qaeda in 1998. 

The two men later issued a fatwa, or decree, that said: 'The judgment to kill and fight Americans and their allies, whether civilians or military, is an obligation for every Muslim.' 

Al-Zawahiri's slaying has sparked questions as to whether the Taliban has welcomed the terrorist group back in, having previously developed ties with the terrorist group in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  

Speculation is rising as to whether his living arrangements with Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani could create further difficulties for the West's relations with Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Smoke rises from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in this frame grabe from TV, after a suspected car bomb exploded outside in 1998; al-Zawahiri was indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya

Smoke rises from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in this frame grabe from TV, after a suspected car bomb exploded outside in 1998; al-Zawahiri was indicted for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya

Armed US Marines stand guard by the US embassy entrance in Nairobi in 1998 as FBI agents gather evidence in the bombing

Armed US Marines stand guard by the US embassy entrance in Nairobi in 1998 as FBI agents gather evidence in the bombing

U.S. military pall bearers carry the first five flag-draped coffins of 10 Americans killed in the bombings at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, during a memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base in 1998

U.S. military pall bearers carry the first five flag-draped coffins of 10 Americans killed in the bombings at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, during a memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base in 1998

Republicans slam Biden's 'ridiculous victory lap' after killing Bin Laden's longtime No. 2

Republicans are slamming President Joe Biden for applauding the killing of Al Qaeda's top leader, alleging his 'disastrous withdrawal' from Afghanistan paved the way for the group's resurgence.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blamed Biden's botched exit from the Taliban-ruled country on the 'possible re-emergence of Al Qaeda,' alleging the US must take action to prevent terrorists from entering the nation.

GOP Sen. Marjorie Taylor Greene echoed McCarthy's sentiment saying that even Americans will be glad Zawahiri is dead, 'Joe's victory lap is ridiculous.'

Biden's critics allege the drone strike demonstrates the president's failure to combat terrorism and his blatant lies to the American people, citing previous statements he made claiming Al Qaeda was not present in Afghanistan.

'Today is further proof that our United States Military and Intelligence Community personnel will not stop pursuing those who threaten the United States of America and our interests,' McCarthy said in a statement to DailyMail.com.

'This news also sheds light on the possible re-emergence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan following President Biden's disastrous withdrawal a year ago,' he continued.

'The Biden administration must provide Congress with a classified briefing as soon as possible to discuss the resurgence of Al Qaeda in the region over the past year, the current foreign terrorist threat to America, and the steps we must take to keep our country safe and prevent terrorists from entering the United States.' 

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It comes as US President Joe Biden's officials said that Haqqani Network leaders knew al-Zawahiri was living in Kabul.

'Immediately after the strike, Haqqani operatives sealed off the area and relocated Zawahiri's relatives. A damning indictment of Taliban credibility,' said director of the Middle East Institute, Charles Lister.

It may add further credibility to recent intelligence claims from the US that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Taliban government, has allowed al-Qaeda to re-emerge in Afghanistan, after taking over the country last year.

In June, UN security intelligence experts revealed that al-Qaeda was enjoying a 'safe haven' in Afghanistan under the Taliban and warned the country could become a base for international terrorist attacks once again.

Following the drone strike location reveal, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said: 'This news sheds light on the possible re-emergence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan following President Biden's disastrous withdrawal a year ago.

'The Biden administration must provide Congress with a classified briefing as soon as possible to discuss the resurgence of al-Qaeda in the region over the past year, the current foreign terrorist threat to America, and the steps we must take to keep our country safe and prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

Bill Roggio, military commentator and managing editor of The Long War Journal, warned DailyMail.com ahead of the address that Biden would tout Zawahiri's death as a victory.

'The message tonight is going to be that this was a huge counter-terrorism success. But really this means that al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan and never left.' Roggio said.

He also cautioned there is more concern the Taliban is again harboring al-Qaeda.

'The big lie the Biden Administration told us to get out of Afghanistan was that al-Qaeda was gone,' Roggio explained. 'It is likely the US got Zawahiri because was over confident and operating in Kabul.

'He wasn't hiding out in the mountains. We're hearing that he was being sheltered by a top Taliban deputy. The Biden Administration is going to tout this as some victory of their 'over-the-horizon' capabilities, but that's the spin.'

Is this Al-Qaeda's next terror chief? Secretive heir apparent who 'oversaw Black Hawk Down operation' and helped carry out 9/11 attacks is poised to take over 

Pictured in just one of three published photos, al-Adel is the likely successor to the al-Qaeda throne. He is credited with masterminding the bombings of three US embassies in 1998 as well as playing a key role in the notorious 'Black Hawk Down' plot

Pictured in just one of three published photos, al-Adel is the likely successor to the al-Qaeda throne. He is credited with masterminding the bombings of three US embassies in 1998 as well as playing a key role in the notorious 'Black Hawk Down' plot

The heir apparent to the al-Qaeda throne after tonight's confirmed death of Ayman al-Zawahiri is a canny, military-trained operative with experience killing British and American soldiers. 

Egyptian ex-army officer Saif al-Adel was a founding member of al-Qaeda, having joined pre-cursor terrorist group Maktab al-Khidamat in the late-1980s.

There he met future allies Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, whose separate group Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) he would soon join.

Little else is known about Saif al-Adel, who at around 60 years of age is one of the younger al-Qaeda bosses.

Al-Adel was around 30 when he oversaw the infamous 'Black Hawk Down' operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, in which 19 American soldiers were killed and had their bodies dragged through the streets.

Seven more were slain when

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