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The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) killed the al Qaeda boss, al-Zawahiri, 71, in Afghanistan after 20 years of tracking him.


He was Laden’s No. 2 and he took over the group’s leadership after Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011. 


Al-Zawahiri was involved in planning the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon in USA. It took the CIA six months of planning to implement the assassination plot.


The attack happened at 6.18 am on Sunday in Kabul where American MQ-9 Reaper drone was cycling his home 50,000 feet over the terrorist’s home. The drone fired two missiles at the house located in the high-end district of Sherpur. 


Ayman al-Zawahiri, was previously deputizing Osama bin Laden as leader of Al Qaeda. He had just performed his morning prayers. He was watching the sun rise from his rooftop balcony, a habit that he had developed over the years. 


The R9X is designed with 6 razor-like blades which pop out of the fuselage just moments before impact. CIA and other U.S. intelligence organizations had spent over 20 years hunting for the Al-Qaeda leader. The terror group had killed over 3,000 victims in the September 11 attacks. 


The killing of Zawahiri signals that all the planners of Sep 11 attacks have been captured or killed. 


‘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,’ President Biden said in a statement. 


Zawahiri was holed up in a safe house in Kabul, Afghanistan. The house where he was killed used to house western diplomats in Kabul. It was later converted into a safe house for the terrorist groups.


The CIA spent three months confirming that Zawahiri lived in the safe house. He spent long periods on the balcony every day. 


The CIA also built a detailed picture of Zawahiri’s routine to determine the best time to strike him down. President Joe Biden was informed of the plan to kill Zawahiri at the Situation room. 


Biden scrutinized the plans and asked the CIA to ensure every precaution was taken to ensure nobody other than Zawahiri would be killed.


Ayman al-Zawahiri was the mastermind on Sep 11 terror attacks and leader of Al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. 


The strike on him was conducted with lethal precision. After the strike photos shows that the missiles destroyed two windows of the floor below the balcony.


Zawahiri and his family members never left the safe house for all the months that they lived there according to intelligence reports. However, only the terrorist leader was killed in the attack. 


After the attack, the Haqqani network surrounded the home and relocated the surviving relation to another place.


Pentagon chiefs took a whole day to confirm that the Al Qaeda chief was dead before they informed President Joe Biden. Biden addressed the nation on the matter on Monday night to announce the death of Zawahiri. 


‘Justice has been delivered. And this terrorist leader is no more,’ Biden said in his address. 


According to Joe Biden, Zawahiri was also a mastermind of the attack on USS Cole in 2000 as well as the attacks on American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. 


Zawahiri was on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist list and had a bounty of $25 million placed on his head for information leading directly to him.



Al-Zawahiri was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1951 to a middle class family. He became a member of Al Qaeda terror group in the 1990s. The group was formed in 1988 by Osama Bin Laden.


The two terrorists met in the 1980s when al-Zawahiri was in charge of Osama’s safety in the caves of Afghanistan from being bombed by Soviet forces in Afghanistan. 


Zawahiri was nominated as Osama’s deputy in 1998 which raised his profile considering that he started appearing alongside Osama at news conferences. They were calling for like-minded muslims to join their cause. 


The bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam caused the deaths of 224 people including 12 Americans. Another 4,500 others were wounded by the attack.


Al-Zawahiri was among a group of militants who were tortured in Egyptian prison for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. 


Al-Zawahiri merged his Egyptian Islamic Jihad group founded in the 80s with Al Qaeda to strengthen their terror activities.


Al Qaeda has followers around the world. They have suicide attackers, plans and funds for unleashing terror. That is how Zawahiri and Osma earned their place at the top of FBI list of most wanted people.


Zawahiri served as the supreme leader over branches in Yemen, Iraq and Asia. Together with Osama they took credit for attacks in Africa and Europe. The two leaders managed to evade U.S. forces for many years by hiding in the Middle East. 


After a decade the U.S. Navy seals were able to track down Osama to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 


In 2020 it was rumored that the Al Qaeda boss had died out of illness. This was fake news or it was meant to distract the U.S. forces searching for him.  On the 20th anniversary of Sep 11 attacks, a video showing al-Zawahiri was shared online showing him celebrating the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation.


The video did not provide the U.S. officials any clues in terms of which country he was hiding. Seven months later intelligence reports revealed that his family was back in Afghanistan.


In April security agencies learnt that the terror leadr was in Kabul at an Al Qaeda safe house. 


This was a top-secret operation whose planning only involved key people at the White House and at the security agencies. 


On July 1, Biden gave his approval for the attack operation to proceed. The terrorist was standing on the balcony of his house when the strike happened. 


‘He will never again, never again, allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone and we’re going to make sure that nothing else happen,’ Biden declared during his Monday evening address. ‘This terrorist leader is no more.’ 


The Taliban government denounced the killing of the Al Qaeda leader saying  it “strongly condemns this attack and calls it a clear violation of international principles and Doha Agreement.” 



‘Such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the United States of America, Afghanistan, and the region,’ the Taliban statement read in part. 


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded stating that the Taliban failed to ‘abide by their commitment.’ 


‘The world is safer following the death of al Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,’ Blinken said and pledged that: ‘The US will continue to act against those who threaten our country, our people, or our allies.’


Who will take over Al-Qaeda leadership 


Saif-al-Adel is likely to take over the leadership of the terror group. He was a founding member of Al-Qaeda in the 1980s. 


Seif, 60, is one of the youngest bosses of the terror group. He was 30 years old when he led the ‘Black Hawk Down’ operation in Somalia. A total of 19 American soldiers were killed and their corpses dragged on the streets of Mogadishu. 


During the operation, two helicopters were shot down in an Ambush in the East African country – Somalia. 


There is a likelihood that Seif is stuck in Iran where he has possibly lived for the past 19 years. 

According to media experts, terrorists hold several passports making it difficult to confirm their identities. 

Seif’s real name is thought to be Mohammed al-Din Zaidan. Saif al Al-Adel is a native from Egypt. A reward of $10 million is on his head for anyone who can help in his arrest to face justice. 


Al-Adel is wanted in connection to August 7, 1998 bombings of USA embassies in Nairobi in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. 

The killing of al-Zahahiri is the most significant damage on the terror group since the killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011. 


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