“I authorized a precision strike that would take him out of the battlefield once and for everything,” Biden said.
Zawahiri was hiding in the center of Kabul to reunite with his family said Biden and was killed in what the senior administration official described as a “precise individual airstrike” using two Hellfire missiles. The drone strike took place at 9:48 pm ET. on Saturday was sanctioned by Biden after weeks of meetings with his office and key advisors, etc. official said on Monday, adding that no American personnel we on Earth in Kabul at that time of hit.
Senior Haqqani Taliban officials were aware of presence of Zawahiri in in area, official said, in “clear violation of Doha Agreement, and even took steps to hide his presence after a successful Saturday strike by limiting access to the safe house and rapid movement of members of his family including him daughter And her children, who were not intentionally fired upon during the strike and remained unharmed. US did not warn Taliban officials in advance of Saturday strike.
AT series of tweets, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said: “An air the strike was held out on residential house in Sherpur area of Kabul city on July 31.”
He said: “In nature of the incident was not evident in first”but the security services and intelligence agencies of The Islamic Emirate was investigating the incident and “initial findings indicated that the strike was out American drone.
Mujahid’s tweets have arrived out before CNN report on Zawahiri death. The Mujahid said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan “strongly condemns this attack on under any pretext and calls it clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement”.
Biden, who was aware of hit against Zawahiri when he isolated with rebound case of Covid-19 spoke Monday outdoors from the balcony of the Blue Room at the White House.
Zawahiri, according to Biden, “was deeply involved in in planning of 9/11 one of majority responsible for terrorist attacks that killed 2,977 people. people on American soil. For decades he has been the inspiration of attacks against Americans.”
“Currently, justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is not more. people around world never ever need be wary of a vicious and determined killer,” he continued. — The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our ability to defend the American people against those who strive to do us harm. We doing this clear again tonight, whatever how long, wherever you hide, if you pose a threat to our people, the US will find you and take you away out.”
The President stated that the targeted strike was result of “extreme perseverance and skill” of nation intelligence community.
“Our Intelligence community located Zawahiri earlier than this year — he moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with members of his direct family” Biden said.
The strike is coming one year after Biden ordered the withdrawal of US troops out of Afghanistan forced Taliban forces to quickly seize control of nation.
Biden said on On Monday, when he withdrew US troops from the country, he “made in decision that in 20 years of war, the United States no longer needed thousands of boots on Earth in Afghanistan will protect America from terrorists who strive to do us harm and I made a promise to the American people that we continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We have done just what.”
Biden vowed that Zawahiri would “never again allow Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorists because he is gone and we are going to do sure that nothing else is happening.”
The President concluded by expressing gratitude to the US intelligence and counterterrorism community, saying that he hoped that Zawahiri death will bring some measure of closed to friends and family of 9/11 victims.
“Tom who continue to seek to harm the United States, listen to me now: we will always remain vigilant and we will act — and we will always do what is necessary to ensure in safety and security of Americans in home around the world,” he concluded.
close ally of Bin Laden
After all, he helped create the deadliest terror attack on American soil when hijackers turned American airliners into rockets.
“These 19 brothers who walked out and gave their souls to Allah Almighty, Allah Almighty granted them this victory that we are enjoying now,” said al-Zawahiri. in video message published in April 2002
It was first of many teasing terrorist messages — who became leader of al-Qaeda after US forces killed bin Laden in 2011 — would send out over years, urging the militants to continue fight against America and rebuking US leaders.
Zawahiri constantly on in move once US-led invasion of Afghanistan began after the September 11, 2001 attacks. AT one point, he narrowly escaped a US attack in harsh, mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, attack what left his wife and children dead.
He made his public debut like a muslim fighter when he was in prison for his participation in 1981 murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
“We want speak in general world. Who are we? Who are we? – he said. in prison interview.
By that time, al-Zawahiri, young doctor, was already perfect terrorist who conspired to overthrow Egypt. government for years and sought to replace it with fundamentalist islamic rule. He proudly supported the assassination of Sadat after the Egyptian leader made world with Israel.
He spent three years in prison after the assassination of Sadat and claimed that he was tortured during in detention. After his release he made his way to Pakistan, where he treated the wounded Mujahideen who fought against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
This was when he met bin Laden and found a common cause.
“We are working with brother bin Laden,” he said. in announcing the merger of his terror groupEgyptian Islamic Jihad, with Al Qaeda in May 1998 “We know him since more than 10 years. We fought with he is here in Afghanistan.”
together, two terror leaders signed a fatwa, or declaration: “The sentence to kill as well as fight Americans and their allies, whether civilians or military, is an obligation for every Muslim.”
mastermind of 11 September
attacks against The US and its facilities started working a few weeks later, with suicide bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania who killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5000 others. Zawahiri and bin Laden gloated after avoiding US cruise missile attack in Afghanistan that was launched in retribution.
Then there was attack on USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, when suicide bombers on the boat blew up their boat, killing 17 American sailors and 39 wounded.
climax of Zawahiri terror conspiracy came on September 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 people were killed in attacks on Twin Towers of World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Fourth hijacked airliner at the head for Washington, crashed in A field in Pennsylvania after a passenger fight back.
Since then, al-Zawahiri has increased his public profile, appearance on numerous video and audio recordings calling on Muslims join jihad against USA and its allies. A little of his recordings were followed by terrorist attacks.
May 2003 for For example, near-simultaneous suicide bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 23 killed. people, including nine Americans, days after the tape allegedly contained Zawahiri’s. voice was released.
9/11 families group expresses gratitude, but calls on Biden will hold the Saudis accountable
Terry Strada, Chairman of Family reunion 9/11 — a coalition of survivors and families of victims of September 11, 2001 attacks — thanked for strike but called on President to host Saudi Arabia government responsible for supposed government complicity in attacks.
“I am deeply grateful for obligation of intelligence agencies and our brave military dedication and sacrifice made in removing such evil from our lives. But, in to attain full accountability for in murder of thousands on On September 11, 2001, President Biden must also Keep responsible Saudi treasurers who funded the attacks,” Strada said. in statement.
This story was updated with additional developments on Monday.
CNN’s Megan Vasquez, Jake Tupper, Ellie Malloy, Larry Register, Hamdi Alkhshali and CNN’s wire service staff contributed to this report.