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Biden is expected to announce the death of al-Qaeda boss al-Zawahiri

#Biden #expected #announce #death #alQaeda #boss #alZawahiri

President Joe Biden was due to announce Monday that the United States had killed al-Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists and suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN were among the media to report that Zawahiri was the target of what the White House called a “successful” operation against a high-profile target in Afghanistan.

Biden was scheduled to deliver a televised address on the operation at 23:30 GMT.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a comfortable household in Cairo before turning to violent radicalism, has spent 20 years since the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States Escape.

He took over al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011 and had a $25 million bounty on his head.

A senior US official said the US conducted a “successful” operation against a “significant” al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan over the weekend.

It would be the first known over-the-horizon attack by the United States on an al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan since American forces withdrew from the country on August 31, 2021.

US officials did not explain where in Afghanistan the attack took place.

Over the weekend, the Afghan Interior Ministry denied widespread reports of a drone strike in Kabul on social media, telling AFP news agency a missile had struck “an empty house” in the capital and claimed no casualties.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted in Kabul early Tuesday that an “air strike” had been carried out on an apartment building in the Sherpur district.

“The nature of the incident was not initially disclosed. The Islamic Emirate’s security and intelligence services investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones,” he tweeted.

In recent months, the Taliban have largely prevented the media from reporting the aftermath of security incidents, often denying or downplaying victims.

The news comes a week before the first anniversary of the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, leaving the country under control of the Taliban insurgency that has fought Western forces for the previous two decades.

The US withdrew after the Taliban vowed not to again use Afghanistan as a launch pad for international jihadism, but experts believe the group never severed its ties with al-Qaeda.

– Doctor turned jihadist

The 71-year-old Zawahiri lacked the strong charisma that helped bin Laden rally jihadists around the world, but he willingly lent his analytical skills to the cause of al-Qaeda.

He was believed to be the main strategist – the real mastermind, directing operations, including the 9/11 attacks, as well as bin Laden’s personal doctor.

Zawahiri’s father was a renowned doctor and his grandfather was a prayer leader at the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo, the highest authority on Sunni Muslims.

From an early age he was involved in Egypt’s radical Muslim community and published several books on Islamic fundamentalism, which for many became a symbol of the radical Islamist movement.

He left Egypt in the mid-1980s and made his way to the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, where resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was based.

Zawahiri and bin Laden met at the time when thousands of Islamist fighters poured into Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Zawahiri is believed to have lived in Europe in the early 1990s before joining Bin Laden in Sudan or Afghanistan.

In 1998, he was one of five signatories to bin Laden’s “fatwa” calling for attacks on Americans, and began appearing regularly alongside the al-Qaeda leader.

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#Biden #expected #announce #death #alQaeda #boss #alZawahiri

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