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9/11 Planner Ayman al-Zawahiri, Killed in CIA Drone Strike

An Egyptian born physician who was the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda from June 2011 was killed in Afghanistan today.
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Getty

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda mastermind and one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, together with the terror organization’s leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed Sunday by a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden announced Monday.

In a hearing from the White House, Biden said, “now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. 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.”

U.S. intelligence confirmed with “high confidence” that it was in fact Zawahiri who was killed in the attack, a senior administration official told reporters. It is believed that he was alone and no other casualties were reported.

Al-Zawahiri was thought to be one of the main organizers behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Arlington, VA.

Al-Zawahiri was also indicted in the U.S. for his role in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people and wounded more than 5,000 others.

Both bin Laden and Zawahiri had escaped authorities when U.S.-led forces toppled Afghanistan’s Taliban government in late 2001 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S.

President Biden stated that “He will never again, never again, allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone and we’re going to make sure that nothing else happens”.

Al-Zawahiri was found in a Taliban owned safe house in Kabul, where his wife and other family members had reportedly moved to earlier this year. Al-Zawahiri’s family was reported to be in the home at the time of the attack, but it is believed that no one else was harmed. A CIA spokesperson stated that “zero” US personnel where in Kabul at the time of the strike.

The Associated Press reported that Senior Taliban figures were aware of al-Zawahri’s presence in Kabul, according to a US Government official, who stated that the Taliban government was given no forewarning of the operation.

Prior to his death the US Government had offered a $25 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

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