WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden stated Monday evening that the US carried out a drone strike that killed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, a revelation that’s anticipated to undermine terrorist group operations.
Biden stated of the pre-dawn precision assault that killed al-Zawahiri: “He left a path of homicide and violence in opposition to Americans, American service members, American diplomats and American pursuits. .
“We made it clear once more tonight that regardless of how lengthy it takes, regardless of the place you cover in case you are a menace to our individuals, the US will discover you and get you out.” , Biden added.
The 2 individuals briefed on the assault confirmed to NBC Information that the assault that killed al-Zawahiri was carried out by the CIA.
A senior Biden administration official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to share particulars of the assault, stated US intelligence analysts had positioned al-Zawahiri earlier this yr.
The official stated the US had tracked al-Zawahiri’s actions for months and decided that he was residing in a secure home in Kabul together with his household.
“We recognized al-Zawahiri a number of occasions over a steady interval on the balcony the place he was ultimately attacked,” the official stated.
“Al-Zawahiri’s relations had been in different areas of the secure home on the time of the strike and had been deliberately untargeted and unarmed. Now we have no indications. exhibits civilians harmed on this strike,” the official added.
The official stated Biden acquired last intelligence on the matter on July 25 earlier than approving the assault that concerned a drone and two Hellfire missiles.
Al-Zawahiri, 71, a health care provider and founding father of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad earlier than rising to the highest of the al-Qaeda community, was one of many architects behind the terrorist assault. introduced September 11 on the World Commerce Heart and the Pentagon.
Within the weeks that adopted the September 11 assaults, the Taliban supplied shelter to al-Qaeda whereas the US mobilized for its longest warfare.
Al-Zawahiri succeeded Osama bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda in 2011.
Al-Zawahiri was beforehand indicted by the US authorities for allegedly enjoying a job within the 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.
The State Division had beforehand provided a reward of as much as $25 million for info that led to his apprehension.
Sunday’s drone strike was the CIA’s first recognized counterterrorism operation since Kabul fell to the Taliban final yr. The senior administration official stated that the US didn’t coordinate the assault or give discover to the Taliban.