Ayman al-Zawahiri DEAD: Al-Qaeda chief killed in HELLFIRE attack as he 'stood on his balcony'

Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan, the biggest blow to al Qaeda since Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011


                            Ayman al-Zawahiri DEAD: Al-Qaeda chief killed in HELLFIRE attack as he 'stood on his balcony'
President Biden confirmed the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri (R) in a drone strike in Afghanistan (Alex Wong/Getty Images, Hamid Mir/Wikimedia Creative Commons)
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President Joe Biden confirmed the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on August 1, Monday evening, calling him the "mastermind behind strikes against Americans" for decades. Over the weekend, Al-Zawahiri, 71, was killed by two hellfire missiles fired from CIA drones as he stood on the balcony of his safe house in downtown Kabul, in a six-month-planned mission. His wife, daughter, and grandchildren were living with him but were not hurt, according to American officials.

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"Now, justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more," he said. "We made it clear again tonight that 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," Biden said in his speech. Also, he detailed the role of al Zawahiri in the terrorist organization, adding that, in addition to the 9/11 attacks, he was responsible for the bombing in 2000 and the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

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UNDATED PHOTO Osama bin Laden (L) sits with his adviser Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian linked to the al Qaeda network, during an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir (not pictured) at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. In the article, which was published November 10, 2001 in Karachi, bin Laden said he had nuclear and chemical weapons and might use them in response to U.S. attacks.
Osama bin Laden (L) sits with his adviser Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian linked to the al Qaeda network, during an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir (not pictured) at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. (Visual News/Getty Images)

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"He blazed a trail of murder and brutality against American citizens, service members, diplomats, and interests," Biden said. "To those around the world who continue to seek to harm the United States, hear me now, Biden concluded in his speech. We will always be vigilant, act, and do everything is required to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the world." The FBI had Al-Zawahiri on its most-wanted terrorist list. A $25 million reward was offered for information that led directly to him.

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Ayman-al-Zawahiri

Zawahiri was an Egyptian who took over al Qaeda after the US assassinated its longstanding leader, Osama bin Laden, in 2011. He was a physician who created Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group that merged with al Qaeda in the late 1990s. He had been charged with involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, POLITICO stated.

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The Taliban's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, tweeted on Monday that "an air attack was carried out on a residential house in Sherpur region of Kabul city." His tweet translates to, 'Statement of the Islamic Emirate's spokesman on the drone attack in Kabul city On the second day of the first month of the current year 1444 Hijri, an air strike was carried out on a residential house in Sherpur area of Kabul city. The nature of the incident was not revealed at first.'

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Former top Obama administration official Ben Rhodes called the execution a 'landmark operation,' telling Politico that it "also proves that Biden didn't need to keep forces in Afghanistan to maintain a counterterrorism capability." He also tweeted, "In addition to being a huge blow for 9/11 justice and to what remains of Al Qaeda, taking out Zawahiri demonstrates you don’t need to be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq to keep the pressure on terrorist organizations."

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Biden delivered his statement from the first-floor balcony of the Blue Room of the White House, where he is still being treated for Covid. He tested positive on July 31, Sunday morning.

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