“Justice delivered” was what US President Biden said after a US drone strike eliminated Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. This is arguably the biggest blow to al Qaeda after Osama Bin Laden was eliminated by US military in 2011 under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
The move also comes at a time when US President Biden’s diplomacy and his actions around the troop removal in Afghanistan has received polarizing responses from academic intellectuals.
Recovering from his second bout of COVID-19 this year, President Biden tweeted about the development saying, “On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully conducted an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al-Qa’ida: Ayman al-Zawahiri. Justice has been delivered.”
“The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm. Tonight we made clear: No matter how long it takes. No matter where you try to hide. We will find you,” another one of his tweets read.
The eliminated al Qaeda chief is reported to have played a part in planning the October 12, 2000 attack which killed as many as 17 US soldiers. He is also known to have played a part in bombings of US embassies that have killed over 200 people and injured over 5,000.
The Facts of the Matter
On Saturday, on the directions of US President Joe Biden, the US military conducted a successful air strike, killing al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, announced President on August 2.
Earlier on wee hours of morning, Joe Biden shared multiple tweets about the development. “On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully conducted an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al-Qa’ida: Ayman al-Zawahiri. Justice has been delivered,” he wrote.
On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully conducted an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al-Qa’ida: Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Justice has been delivered.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 1, 2022
How did US Military Take Out al Qaeda Chief?
According to an Indian Express report, Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul earlier on Sunday 6.119 am (7.18 am IST).
Reportedly, the US intelligence officials had “high confidence” in the fact that the man killed in drone strike was indeed Zawahiri. The al Qaeda chief was reportedly in the balcony of his “safe house” when he was attacked and killed.
While other members of his family were at the safe house, no other casualties were reported.
Drone had 2 Missiles
According to reports, Zawahiri had a $25 million reward on him, and was found to have played part in the 9/11 attacks and the 1998 bombings at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to an Al Jazeera report, the al Qaeda chief was killed in drone strike which had two missiles.
Further, it was also reported that the safe house was in a well-known residential area in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. Moreover, the safe house was the residence of previous ministers, governors, and war lords of the governments that had come and gone prior to the Taliban regime that has now taken over the capital.
Who is Ayman al-Zawahiri?
Ayman al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian doctor who is often known as the “operational brains” behind the 9/11 attacks. After being imprisoned and 1980s and then being released, he settled in Afghanistan and started planning and plotting with another rich Saudi man – Osama Bin Laden.
An eye-surgeon, he helped with the formation of al Qaeda. Following the killing of Bin Laden back in May 2011, he was holding the reigns of the Islamic militant group.
While he did live a life of secrecy, he was known by intelligence as Laden’s right-hand person, who gave al-Qaeda its ideology and vision.