President Joe Biden announced Monday that a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend killed top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, the successor of the terrorist network’s slain leader Osama bin Laden.
“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” the president said during his speech at the White House Monday evening.
US President Joe Biden announces that Al-Qaeda leader Dr.Ayman Al Zwahiri has been killed in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/WpeJ4AR554
— Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud (@IhsanTipu) August 2, 2022
According to USA Today, Al-Zawahri, 71, was located on a balcony of a “safe house” in downtown Kabul that was hit by two missiles.
“He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats, and American interests,” President Biden said in his brief remarks from the White House balcony. “Now, justice has been delivered. And this terrorist leader is no more.”
“After relentlessly seeking Zawahiri for years under Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, our intelligence community located Zawahiri earlier this year,” Mr. Biden said. “He had moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with members of his immediate family.”
The president said that after he considered “clear and convincing evidence” of al-Zawahiri’s location, he “authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.” He gave his final approval to “go get him” one week ago.
“None of his family members were hurt and there were no civilian casualties,” the president said. The U.S. government has a high level of confidence that no one else was killed in the strike, according to the senior administration official.