Biden ordered precision drone strike to take out top Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri

In 2011, after Osama Bin Laden was permanently retired from his role as leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, his chief deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri assumed command of the group and its network of affiliates and continued to issue threats against the United States and its allies.

Now, according to the White House and at the direction of President Joe Biden, al-Zawahiri’s reign as Al Qaeda’s nominal leader has also come to a permanent end thanks to a CIA-operated drone and a precision Hellfire missile strike, the Daily Wire reported.

The Al Qaeda leader, who was deemed centrally responsible as a planner for the group’s 9/11 attacks in 2001, the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, among other major attacks, was reportedly located in central Kabul in Afghanistan and taken out while on a balcony of his secret and secure residence that he shared with his family.

Biden announces successful drone strike against al-Zawahiri

In a speech delivered Monday night, President Biden announced, “My fellow Americans, on Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed the emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.”

He recounted the numerous attacks pinned on al-Zawahiri and continued threats against the U.S. expressed in recent videos, and said, “Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.”

“We make it clear again tonight 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 continued.

The president referenced his ordered withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan last year — which allowed the Taliban to reassert control and allow the Al Qaeda leader to return, despite promises to the contrary — and said, “I made a promise to the American people that we’d continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We’ve done just that.”

Later in his remarks, after recalling the horrific losses of 9/11 and other attacks, Biden issued a warning to other terrorists like al-Zawahiri around the world: “We will always remain vigilant, and we will act. And we will always do what is necessary to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the globe.”

Months of careful planning ahead of ordered strike

Just prior to President Biden’s speech, an unnamed “senior administration official” conducted a background press call with reporters and shared some of the details of the reportedly successful counterterrorism operation, including how it was planned over the course of several months and how it transpired after the president granted his final authorization.

As it turns out, it had been discovered earlier in the year that al-Zawahiri and his family had returned to Kabul in Afghanistan after years of hiding in Pakistan and, once located, U.S. intelligence kept close tabs on his whereabouts and “pattern of life” — which likely involved him conducting his five-times daily prayers outside on the balcony of his secret and highly secured residence inside an upscale neighborhood in the center of the city.

An abundance of planning with an emphasis on minimizing potential civilian casualties ultimately led to the precision drone strike on that balcony in which al-Zawahiri was reported to be the only individual killed by the Hellfire missile.

To be sure, the ordered assassination of Al Qaeda’s top leader, al-Zawahiri, is absolutely a good thing, but nobody should be under any illusions that this strike will fundamentally destroy the international terrorist organization, as the Daily Wire noted that there are several other high-ranking Al Qaeda leaders and operatives who will simply move up to assume command and continue to plot and carry out attacks against the U.S. and U.S. interests worldwide.

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