UNITED STATES: In a counter terrorism attempt to target one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, the leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed in a drone strike in Kabul over the weekend, POTUS Joe Biden announced on Monday night.
ABC News confirmed reports that US forces in Afghanistan killed the Al-Qaeda leader. A senior Biden administration official announced that the victorious feat was achieved as part of an anti-terrorism agenda to wipe out leading parties of terrorism in the country, adding that no civilian casualties were reported.
Another senior official released other details of the strike: the leader was killed on the balcony of his safe house in Kabul, located in Wazir Akbar Khan, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the city, strategically at walking distance from the main diplomatic areas, including the US Embassy.
Post the operation, President Biden delivered his remarks on this achievement and expressed a sigh of relief at the demise of this wanted killer. He also presented a clear message of hope in his remarks.
The leader stood on the steps of the White House and said, “Justice is delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer.”
Biden also noted that this anti-terrorism operation was a clear message of forceful and fatal retaliation against terror. “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”
His message echoes a famous line delivered by Liam Neeson from the movie Taken, “I will find you, and I will kill you”, a sinister threat that is bound to end in bloodshed.
The President said that the intelligence community had located al-Zawahiri’s location in the posh neighbourhood and consequently commanded the forces “to go get him” after being advised that “the conditions were optimal”.
Biden authorised the strike on July 25 and ensured that no civilian casualties would be suffered. “I authorised the precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.”
Biden also added that the mission was entirely successful because of the counterterrorism community, key allies and officials.
After Osama bin Laden died in 2011, which was another counterterrorism operation launched by US forces, al-Zawahiri took over control of the terrorist group. As bin Laden’s deputy, the leader was involved in the infamous 9/11 attack that killed nearly 3,000 people in the US, according to the US Justice Department.