“Justice has been served and this terrorist leader is gone,” US President Joe Biden said in a televised address. The successful operation against al-Qaeda boss Aiman al-Zawahiri is a clear signal to all enemies of the United States: “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide: If you are a threat to our people, they will USA will find you and take you out.”
According to Biden, the US secret services had tracked down the Egyptian this year. He had moved “to downtown Kabul” to live with his family again. Biden went on to report that he authorized a “precision strike” against al-Zawahiri and gave the final green light a week ago.
Joe Biden on a White House balcony: “The mission was a success”
According to the US government, the drone attack on al-Zawahiri was prepared for months. He was finally killed when he stepped onto the balcony of his shelter in Kabul. There were no civilian casualties.
A government representative in Washington emphasized that members of the Taliban leadership knew that the al-Qaeda boss was in Kabul. the Islamists had thus clearly violated agreements with the USA. The Taliban, for their part, condemned the attack and accused the United States of violating international principles.
Al-Zawahiri made his last public appearance in September last year – exactly 20 years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. In a video message he called on his supporters to fight the states in the west and their allies in the Middle East.
Al-Zawahiri took over the leadership of al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden, who was killed by American special forces in Pakistan in 2011. The 71-year-old had a $25 million bounty on his head.
wa/bru (afp, dpa, rtr)