al qaeda leaderPresident Biden announced Monday night that he was killed over the weekend in a drone strike during a US counterterrorism operation.
In a brief remark from the White House balcony, Mr. Biden said, “He has carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American military personnel, American diplomats and American interests.” And this terrorist leader is no more.”
The president said al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul.
“After years of relentless hunting for Zawahiri under Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, our intelligence agencies found Zawahiri earlier this year,” Biden said. “He moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with his next of kin.”
The US government had multiple independent sources confirming al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts at his hideout, a senior government official told reporters by phone Monday night. Officials said the strike was the result of months and years of careful, patient and persistent work by anti-terrorism officials.
After considering “clear and convincing evidence” of al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts, the president said he “authorized a precision strike to remove him completely from the battlefield.” He gave final approval to “go get him” a week ago.
Al-Zawahiri was finally taken out by drone at 9:48 p.m. ET on Saturday. He was on the balcony of his lair and his family was in another room of the house.
“No one in his family was hurt and there were no civilian casualties,” the president said. have.
A senior government official said the president received regular updates as the US government focused on al-Zawahiri. After the location of the safehouse was identified, the president wanted to understand more about the placement of the safehouse’s doors and windows so as not to cause other casualties.
At a meeting on July 25, the president authorized precise and coordinated airstrikes to minimize civilian deaths, senior government officials said.
With the death of Al-Zawahiri,now dead or captured.
The FBImost wanted terroristMonday Poster Al-Zawahiri’s Status: ‘Deceased’.
The president spoke of his visits to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Ground Zero in New York last year on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and recalled seeing the bronze inscriptions of the names of those killed in the attacks. said. About the oath that Americans “never forget”.
Biden said he hoped the action taken against al-Zawahiri would “bring in another shutdown” for those who lost loved ones on 9/11.
The strike came almost a year after US troops withdrew., it was not lost on the president. The Biden administration has long claimed that it can continue to address terrorist threats to the American people from “over the horizon” without setting foot on the ground in Afghanistan.
“When we ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, after 20 years of war, the United States placed thousands of boots on the ground in Afghanistan to protect us from terrorists who would seek to harm us. I made the decision that I no longer had to wear a pair of shoes,” Biden said. “I promised the American people that we would continue our effective counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond, and we have done just that.”
Two intelligence sources familiar with the matter said the attack was carried out by the CIA.
presidents who tested positivespeaking outdoors from the balcony of the White House.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed on Monday that drone strikes had been carried out in Kabul. He said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan sees it as a clear violation of international principles.
US Secretary of State Antony Brinken said Monday that by protecting al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, “the Taliban are in gross violation of the Doha Accords and will not allow terrorists to use Afghan territory to threaten the security of other countries.” I have repeatedly vouched for .”
Former Acting CIA Director and CBS News contributor Michael Morrell said it was “unbelievable” after the president’s remarks. [al-Zawahiri] At least some of the Taliban leadership were in Kabul without their knowledge.”
Noting that Zawahiri “didn’t try to hide, he lived there quite openly,” Morrell said, the attack also meant that other al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan were no longer concerned about their safety. He said he made it clear what he had to do. have an army there.
Al-Zawahiri was wanted for a long time. After the 9/11 attacks, then-President George W. Bush released a list of the FBI’s 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, and near the top of the list included Al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden. .
For years, Zawahiri was known as al-Qaeda’s number two, but many analysts believe he was really the brains behind the bin Laden operation.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in 2011, but al-Zawahiri escaped attempts on his life and international investigations until his death.
Zawahiri went on to release a statement containing a video of September 11, 2021, but it was unclear whether the record was new or old. Rumors that he passed away have been around for years, and the US offered his $25 million for information that could lead to his unrest.
FDNY-Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said in a statement Monday that he thanked Biden for “helping bring another level of closure to everyone affected by these attacks.”
Arden Farhi, Nancy Cordes, Andres Triay, Ahmad Muktar, Pat Milton and Olivia Gazis of CBS News contributed to this report.
Biden says Ayman al-Zawahiri was murdered.Al-Qaeda leader was Osama bin Laden No. 2
Source link Biden says Ayman al-Zawahiri was murdered.Al-Qaeda leader was Osama bin Laden No. 2