US President Joe Biden has announced that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan.
The US president described the death of al-Zawahiri, who took control of the terrorist organization following the death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, having previously served as deputy to the man who masterminded the 9/11 attacks.
“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a live televised address from the White House. “People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer.”
, also noting the 2000 USS Cole attack and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Acknowledging the role al-Zawahiri played not only in the 9/11 attacks but also the 2000 USS Cole attack and the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the President made it clear that the terrorist leader was a persistent threat to western values, citing recent videos published by the radical calling on followers to attack the US and its allies.
“We make it clear again tonight that, 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.
One of the most wanted men on the planet, al-Zawahiri and his family had gone into hiding in a safe house in the Afghan capital Kabul, according to White House officials. Biden confirmed that there were no casualties other than the target of the strike, with al-Zawahiri’s family elsewhere at the time and no civilians caught up in the operation.