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Biden praises the US operation that killed the leader of Al Qaeda

President Joe Biden praised the success of an airstrike Sunday that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan, saying Americans and other allies around the world can sleep easier at night knowing he can no longer attack innocent lives.


What You Need to Know

  • In an address to the nation Monday night, President Joe Biden praised the success of a Sunday airstrike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan.
  • Al-Zawahri took over as al Qaeda leader after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in 2011, and senior administration officials said on Monday that the former “remained an active threat to the American people”.
  • The loss of Al-Zawahri removes the figure who more than anyone shaped Al-Qaida, first as Osama bin Laden’s deputy since 1998, then as his successor
  • US intelligence, which had been watching for possible signs of al-Zawahri, received information earlier this year that he and his wife, daughter and several other family members had moved to a safe house in Kabul.

“He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American military, American diplomats and American interests,” Biden said of al-Zawahri, outlining some of the attacks ordered by the late al Qaeda leader, who he said was “deeply involved” in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Al-Zawahri also helped orchestrate the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, Biden said Monday.

“He has made videos, including in recent weeks, calling on his followers to attack the United States and our allies,” the president said. “Justice has now been served. And this terrorist leader no longer exists. People around the world no longer have to fear the vicious and determined killer.”

The White House on Tuesday morning shared a photo of Biden’s meeting with his national security team on July 1 to discuss the operation to remove al-Zawahiri.

“Never again, never again, are we going to allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists because it’s gone and we’re going to make sure nothing else happens,” Biden said, praising the intelligence community’s “extraordinary persistence and skill” in launching. the successful operation.

On Tuesday morning, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​that “there was no one on the ground in uniform when this strike occurred.”

Sullivan added that the U.S. government is “in direct communication with the Taliban on this, and I’m not going to telegraph our next moves, but the Taliban understand very well that the United States is going to defend their interests.”

Current and former officials began hearing Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, but the administration delayed releasing the information until his death could be confirmed, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. maintain anonymity. discuss the matter.

FILE – As seen on a computer screen from a DVD prepared by Al-Sahab Production, Al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahri speaks in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 20, 2006. (AP Photo/BKBangash, File)

White House officials acknowledged Monday that a strike had taken place, saying “the operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”

Al-Zawahri took over as al Qaeda leader after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in 2011, and senior administration officials said on Monday that the former “remained an active threat to people, interests and national security of the United States.”

The loss of Al-Zawahri eliminates the figure who more than anyone shaped Al Qaeda, first as Osama bin Laden’s deputy from 1998, then as his successor. Together, he and bin Laden turned the weapons of the jihadist movement against the United States, carrying out the deadliest attack in history on American soil: the suicide hijackings of September 11, 2001.

US intelligence, which had been watching for possible signs of al-Zawahri, received information earlier this year that he and his wife, daughter and several other family members had moved to a safe house in Kabul.

The house al-Zawahri was in when he was killed was owned by a top aide to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, according to a senior intelligence official. The official also added that a CIA ground team and aerial reconnaissance conducted after the drone strike confirmed al-Zawahri’s death. Planning for the operation began six months ago but intensified in the past two months, the official said.

During the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the United States targeted and divided al-Qaeda, sending leaders underground. But the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last September gave the extremist group a chance to rebuild. US military officials, including General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said al-Qaeda was trying to reconstitute itself in Afghanistan, where it faced limited threats from the now-ruling Taliban. Military leaders warned that the group still aspired to attack the US

The 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon made bin Laden America’s No. 1 enemy. But he probably could never have pulled it off without his deputy. Bin Laden provided al-Qaida with charisma and money, but al-Zawahri brought the tactics and organizational skills needed to forge militants into a network of cells in countries around the world.

Their bond was forged in the late 1980s, when al-Zawahri treated Saudi billionaire Bin Laden in the caves of Afghanistan while Soviet bombing shook the mountains around them.

Zawahri, on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, had a $25 million bounty on his head for any information that could lead to his death or capture.

“The United States continues to demonstrate our determination and our ability to defend the American people against those who seek to harm us,” Biden said from the White House. “We’re making it clear again tonight. That no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you’re a threat to our people, America will find you and take you out.”



Biden praises the US operation that killed the leader of Al Qaeda

Source link Biden praises the US operation that killed the leader of Al Qaeda

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