U.S. kills al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in drone strike - POLITICO

the united states killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike over the weekend, three individuals briefed on the operation informed POLITICO.

The strike became conducted by using the CIA, in accordance with two of the individuals, with one announcing it took region in Kabul. It changed into conducted by using an Air drive drone, a U.S. official said one at a time. one of the americans cited that it took "just a few days" to confirm the killing since the U.S. doesn't "have many assets on the ground."

Al-Zawahri was an Egyptian who took over al Qaeda after the U.S. killed its longtime chief, Osama bin weighted down, in 2011.

He in no way carried out the family name fame of his predecessor, however al-Zawahri's killing is then again an important win for the united states within the ongoing battle against Islamist terrorism, above all as the United nations warns that the terrorist neighborhood is outpacing its friends — like the Islamic State — as an extended-time period global probability.

In a statement to journalists, a senior Biden administration legit talked about "over the weekend, the us carried out a counterterrorism operation towards a big Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation changed into a success and there have been no civilian casualties."

President Joe Biden is due to provide a speech concerning the operation later Monday.

The announcement comes pretty much a yr after the us accomplished withdrawing from Afghanistan, the country it invaded in 2001 following the Sept. eleven assaults masterminded by way of bin encumbered.

The withdrawal devolved into a chaotic condition — and considered one of Biden's worst stretches as president — as the U.S. became forced to carry out a massive evacuation of more than 100,000 individuals trying to flee the country after an astonishingly brief takeover by Taliban militants. the U.S. has insisted that the Taliban no longer enable Afghan soil for use by using terrorist agencies like Al-Qaeda.

The Al-Zawahiri killing offers the administration some decent information to trumpet ahead of a grim anniversary.

Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesperson for U.S. crucial Command, declined to comment on the specifics of the strike. "We have no operational tips at the moment," he observed.

A spokesperson for the Pentagon observed the armed forces has no longer these days conducted any strikes in the enviornment. The country wide protection Council declined to remark.

The Senate Intelligence committee has been briefed on the strike, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) informed POLITICO. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate overseas relations Committee, called the operation "a vital accomplishment," adding "This strike should still be a message to terrorists near and far: in case you conspire to kill americans, we can locate and kill you."

Al-Zawahri's presence in Kabul is probably going to aggravate relations between Washington and the Taliban, but it surely also boosts the U.S. claim that it still has what it calls "over the horizon" means when it comes to intelligence on terrorist undertaking in Afghanistan — despite not having combat troops there.

"The strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is a big success of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. end result of the countless hours of intelligence assortment over a long time," stated Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon legit and retired CIA paramilitary operations officer.

Calling the killing "a landmark operation," former true Obama administration professional Ben Rhodes instructed POLITICO it "additionally demonstrates that Biden didn't should retain troops in Afghanistan to retain a counterterrorism capacity."

A South Asian professional, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the theme, expressed shock that al-Zawahri turned into "roaming in Kabul."

For years, terrorism researchers and others had believed that al-Zawahri become hiding in Pakistan — the place bin weighted down became found. Some observers thought al-Zawahri become doubtless someplace within the teeming Pakistani metropolis of Karachi.

For the Biden administration, "this [strike] will deflect a little from considerations like how the Afghanistan withdrawal changed into a disaster and decreased U.S. ability on the counterterrorism front," the South Asian authentic talked about.

youngsters, a congressional support noted that Al Qaeda is still an impressive force in Afghanistan, even without Al-Zawahri.

"while it's superb they obtained one of the vital a whole bunch of Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, the Taliban regime the Biden administration enabled to return to energy is internet hosting senior Al Qaeda leaders in downtown Kabul," the grownup spoke of. "The Biden administration is paying that same regime thousands and thousands."

Al-Zawahri, a physician, based Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a militant group that merged with al Qaeda in the late 1990s. He had been indicted for his suspected role within the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

It become now not instantly clear who would succeed al-Zawahri because the chief of the terrorist group.

In December 2020, Brookings establishment terrorism professional Daniel Byman talked about probably the most big questions of his leadership became how he would bequeath manage to his successor. "For now, there is not any obtrusive successor with Zawahri's wide identify focus and respect inside the jihadi world," he wrote, including: "Any successor will also improvement from the decline of ISIS, which is way weaker and fewer inspiring now that it has lost the caliphate."

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, tweeted Monday that "an air strike became performed on a residential condo in Sherpur enviornment of Kabul city."

Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. who's now with the Hudson Institute, observed that one "query now could be, whether the Taliban enabled Zawahiri's removal or the U.S. did it devoid of assistance."

Andrew Desiderio contributed to this document.

0/Post a Comment/Comments