Al-Qaeda chief Zawahiri killed in US drone strike
   Date :03-Aug-2022

Al-Qaeda chief 
AL-QAEDA chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who played central role in 9/11 attacks and later created the terror group’s regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent, has been killed in a US “precision strike” in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, in the biggest blow to the global terror network since killing of its founder Osama bin Laden in 2011 in Pakistan. Zawahiri, who assumed the leadership of al-Qaeda after the death of bin Laden, was killed in a drone strike carried out by CIA on Saturday evening at a house in Kabul where he was sheltering to reunite with his family, US President
Joe Biden said on Monday, declaring that “justice has been delivered and this terrorist is no more”.
The 71-year-old Egyptian surgeon, who had a USD 25 million bounty on his head, was bin Laden’s second-in-command during 9/11 attacks and took over as the head of al-Qaeda after his death. He remained a visible international symbol of the terror group, 11 years after the US killed bin Laden during a raid in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in May 2011.
“I authorised a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield, once and for all,” Biden said on Monday in a speech from the White House. According to officials, Zawahiri was on the balcony of a safe house when the drone
fired two missiles at him. Other family members were present, but they were unharmed and only Zawahiri was killed. “He was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11, one of the most responsible for the attacks that murdered 2,977 people on American soil. For decades, he was the mastermind of attacks against Americans,” said Biden. The US President was kept abreast of the strike against Zawahiri as he was isolated with a rebound case of COVID-19. Biden spoke outdoors from the Blue Room Balcony at the White House. “Now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer,” Biden said. Zawahiri comes from a distinguished Egyptian family, according to the ‘NY Times’. His grandfather, Rabia’a al-Zawahiri, was an imam at the prestigious al-Azhar University. His great-uncle, Abdel Rahman Azzam, was the first secretary of the Arab League. He played central role in the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and eventually helped to mastermind the deadliest terror attack, when hijackers turned US airliners into missiles.
In September 2014, Zawahiri had announced the creation of Al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate - the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), taking advantage of sanctuaries in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate was led by Asim Umar - an Indian and former member of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami. Umar was killed in a joint US-Afghan military raid in the Afghan Province of Helmand in September 2019.
Zawahiri was constantly on the move once the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began after the September 11, 2001, attacks. At one point, he narrowly escaped a US onslaught in the rugged, mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, an attack that left his wife and children dead. He made his public debut as a Muslim militant when he was in prison for his involvement in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
By that time, Zawahiri, a young doctor, was already a committed terrorist who conspired to overthrow the Egyptian government for years and sought to replace it with fundamentalist Islamic rule. He proudly endorsed Sadat’s assassination after the Egyptian leader made peace with Israel.
He spent three years in prison after Sadat’s assassination and claimed he was tortured while in detention. After his release, he made his way to Pakistan, where he treated wounded mujahideen fighters who fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. That was when he met bin Laden and found a common cause, the CNN reported.
Zawahiri was also linked to the attacks on foreign tourists in the Egyptian city of Luxor in 1997, which left 62 people dead. In 1999, an Egyptian military court sentenced him to death in absentia.