The president of United States, Joe Bidenannounced that an anti-terrorist operation ordered by him and carried out by a drone in Afghanistan killed the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri. In a televised message from the balcony of the Blue Room of the White House, Biden said that with the death of al Zawahiri “Justice has been done” and that the world no longer needs to fear this “ruthless and constant killer”. The Egyptian was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world by the United States, which promised 25 million dollars for any information that would allow him to be arrested. Whereabouts unknown for more than ten years, He was considered the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. that caused almost three thousand deaths in New York.
“The operation has been a success”
Addressing “all those around the world who want to harm America,” Biden assured them that their country will always remain vigilant and ready to act when it comes to defending the safety of American citizens. “Justice was done and this terrorist leader is no longer here. The operation has been a success,” assured the Democratic president, who added: “No matter how long it takes, or where you hide, If you are a threat to our people, the United States will seek you out and eliminate you.“.
Biden explained that al-Zawahiri was tracked down earlier this year when he moved to Kabul “to be close to family members” and that he gave the go-ahead for the kill mission a week ago. The president said he hopes his death will help “turn the page” for the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Al Zawahiri was killed on Sunday morning in a residence in Kabul, specifically at 6:18 local time, when he was on the balcony of the residence where he was staying and a drone fired two Hellfire missiles at him. According to the White House, Only the Al Qaeda leader was killed in the operation, and there was no collateral damage.not even the members of his family who were staying with him, something that Biden himself had insisted on several times and that he had set as one of the conditions to proceed with the attack.
The announcement of this drone operation came almost a year after the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistanwhich allowed the Taliban to regain control of the country 20 years after they were overthrown.
Al Zawahiri took charge of the jihadist organization in 2011, after the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of a US commando in Pakistan. Al Qaeda’s number two, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, was killed in August 2020 on the streets of Tehran at the hands of Israeli agents. during a secret mission led by Washington, according to the New York Times. His death dealt a severe blow to the terrorist organization, already weakened by itself and from which the Islamic State group (ISIS) had stolen its notoriety.
most wanted terrorist
The Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri was a doctor who was described as shy by his fellow students and went on to become one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. One of the last times he appeared in a video before his death was in a recording released by Al Qaeda on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
In that video, titled “Jerusalem will never be Judaized”, al-Zawahiri was seen dressed in a robe and a long white beard speaking for more than an hour on a wide variety of topics, especially the Palestinian cause. With this video, the terrorist group quelled the rumors about the poor health of its leader and even his death.
Al Zawahiri was born in 1951 into a middle-class family in the Cairo neighborhood of Giza. and, from his adolescence, his name was associated with Islamic militants. At the age of 15, he was arrested accused of belonging to the then outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and later joined the terrorist group Jihad (Holy War), born in Egypt in the late 1960s.
The first terrorist action that he is accused of is having participated in 1981 in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar el Sadat (1970-1981) during a military parade in Cairo, for which he spent three years in jail. After being released, he began a journey that took him to Saudi Arabia, the center of dissemination of the most rigorous, purist and intransigent Islam, and to Pakistan, where in Peshawar he helped the fighters fighting in Afghanistan and joined the founder of Al Qaeda.
His first encounter with Bin Ladenwho for years was his closest collaborator, It was in 1985 in Peshawarwhere they agreed to organize the transfer of 20,000 Arab volunteer fighters against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. From that time dates the foundation of Al Qaeda, created to combat the pro-Soviet regime in Kabuland origin of the “World Islamic Front” to combat the “crusaders” and the “Jews”, whose founding letter was signed in 1998 jointly by Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.
In 1999, al-Zawahiri was indicted by the United States, along with Bin Laden and fourteen alleged members of his network, for the 1998 attacks against the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which caused some 240 deaths. That same year al-Zawahiri and his brother Mohamed were sentenced to death in absentia in Egypt in a macro-trial against jihadists. A defendant stated that the group received instructions from Emir Al Zawahiri, who was in Afghanistan with Bin Laden.
After the attacks of 11-S, Interpol ordered his search and capture, under the accusation of terrorist actions in Egypt and of being “one of the heads of Al Qaeda”, and the FBI put him on its most wanted list. Since then he lived in hiding presumably somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan.