Five sources with knowledge of the situation claim that a CIA drone attack in Afghanistan has killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
According to one individual who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the situation, current and former officials first learned that al-Zawahiri had been killed in a drone attack Sunday afternoon, but the administration withheld the news until it could be verified.
The United States carried out a “successful” counterterrorism operation on a significant al-Qaeda target, according to White House officials, who declined to confirm al-Zawahiri was killed. They also said that “there were no civilian casualties.”
The counterterrorism attack on Ayman al-Zawahiri happened in Wazir Akbar Khan, one of Kabul’s wealthiest districts, which is a short stroll from the city’s major diplomatic hubs, including the U.S. Embassy.
In a speech to the country at 8:00 p.m. EDT, US President Joe Biden is anticipated to go into more detail on the operation.
According to a senior intelligence officer, an American ground team was in Afghanistan to support the strike but has already left.
Al-death Zawahiri’s marks the end of the person who, after serving as Osama bin Laden’s deputy from 1998 until his death in 2011, did more than anybody to shape al-Qaeda. Together with bin Laden, they carried out the worst assault on American soil — the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings — by turning the jihadi movement’s weapons against the country.
For a number of years, there have been intermittent reports of al-passing. Zawahiri’s However, a video of the al-Qaeda chief congratulating an Indian Muslim woman for disobeying a restriction on donning a hijab, or headscarf, surfaced in April. The video was the first indication of his continued existence in months.
The airstrike was verified by the Taliban administration in Afghanistan, but it made no mention of al-Zawahiri or any other victims.
The 2020 U.S. agreement with the Taliban that resulted in the withdrawal of American forces was described as a “obvious violation of international values and the Doha Agreement,” which the statement “strongly condemns this attack and calls.”