The United States killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in the weekend. Ayman al-Zawahiri served as Usama bin Laden’s deputy during the 9/11 attacks, and as his successor in 2011. He “continued to pose an active threat to U.S. persons, interests, and national security.” He just turned 71 years old and was sheltering in downtown Kabul to reunite with his family. His daughter and her children were intentionally not targeted during the strike and remained unharmed. The drone strike was authorized by Biden following weeks of meetings with his Cabinet. The American President spoke Monday night from the Blue Room Balcony at the White House. „We make 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,” he said. The President concluded by expressing gratitude to US intelligence and counterterrorism communities.
A senior administration official said Monday that there were no civilian casualties as a result of the operation. Tweets by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said “strongly condemns this attack on any pretext and calls it a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement.” The current al Qaeda No. 2, Saif al Adel, is thought to have been in Iran.