In a counter-terrorism operation carried out by the United States, Al- Qaeda leader Ayman alZawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul, the biggest blow to the militants since Osama bin Laden was shot dead more than a decade ago.
“I authorised a precision strike that would remove him (Zawahiri) from the battlefield, once and for all,” President Joe Biden said on August 1 in a speech from the White House. Two Hellfire missiles were fired when he came out on the balcony of his safe house in the Afghan capital at 6:18 am on July 31.
“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” he added.
Seventy-one-year-old Egyptian doctor Zawahiri took the reins of AlQaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden 11 years ago. Osama, too, was killed in a special operation by the US Navy in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Zawahiri, along with Osama bin Laden, had plotted the 9/11 attacks together and he was one of the US’ most wanted terrorists.
In June 2022, in a video released by Al- Qaeda, Zawahiri called for a jihad against India and Bangladesh for blasphemy against the Holy Prophet and threatened to launch suicide attacks in key Indian cities. In 2019, he released a video, calling for upon the “mujahideen in Kashmir” to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the Indian Army and the Government in Jammu and Kashmir.