President Joe Biden was anticipated to announce Monday that the USA has killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of many world’s most needed terrorists and suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001 assaults.
The New York Instances, Washington Put up and CNN had been amongst shops reporting that Zawahiri was the goal of what the White Home introduced was a “profitable” operation towards a top-level goal in Afghanistan.
Biden was to ship a televised handle on the operation at 2330 GMT.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a cushty Cairo family earlier than turning to violent radicalism, had been on the run for 20 years for the reason that 9/11 assaults that killed practically 3,000 folks in the USA.
He took over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US particular forces in Pakistan in 2011, and had a $25 million US bounty on his head.
A senior US official mentioned the US had carried out a “profitable” operation towards a “important” Al-Qaeda goal in Afghanistan over the weekend.
It could be the primary identified over-the-horizon strike by the USA on an Al-Qaeda goal in Afghanistan since American forces withdrew from the nation on August 31, 2021.
US officers didn’t make clear the place in Afghanistan the strike occurred.
Over the weekend the Afghan inside ministry denied reviews circulating on social media of a drone strike in Kabul, telling AFP a rocket struck “an empty home” within the capital, inflicting no casualties.
Early Tuesday in Kabul, nevertheless, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an “aerial assault” was carried out on a residence within the Sherpur space of the town.
“The character of the incident was not revealed at first. The safety and intelligence businesses of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and located of their preliminary investigations that the assault was carried out by American drones,” his tweet mentioned.
In latest months the Taliban have largely barred media from masking the aftermath of safety incidents and ceaselessly deny or downplay any casualties.
The information comes per week earlier than the primary anniversary of the ultimate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, leaving the nation within the management of the Taliban insurgency that fought Western forces over the previous 20 years.
The US withdrew after the Taliban promised to not enable Afghanistan for use once more as a launchpad for worldwide jihadism, however specialists consider the group by no means broke their ties with Al-Qaeda.
Physician turned jihadist
Zawahiri, 71, lacked the potent charisma that helped bin Laden rally jihadists world wide, however willingly channelled his analytical abilities into the Al-Qaeda trigger.
He was believed to be the principle strategist — the actual mastermind who steered operations, together with the September 11 assaults, in addition to bin Laden’s private physician.
Zawahiri’s father was a famend doctor and his grandfather a prayer chief at Cairo’s Al-Azhar institute, the best authority for Sunni Muslims.
He grew to become concerned with Egypt’s radical Muslim group at a younger age and revealed a number of books on Islamic fundamentalism, which got here for a lot of to represent the unconventional Islamist motion.
He left Egypt within the mid-Eighties and headed for Pakistan’s northwestern metropolis of Peshawar the place the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was primarily based.
It was at the moment, when hundreds of Islamist fighters flooded into Afghanistan throughout the Eighties, that Zawahiri and bin Laden met.
Within the early Nineties Zawahiri is believed to have lived in Europe earlier than becoming a member of bin Laden in Sudan or Afghanistan.
In 1998 he was certainly one of 5 signatories to bin Laden’s “fatwa” calling for assaults towards People and he started showing frequently on the Al-Qaeda chief’s facet.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)