U.S. drone strike on al-Zawahiri in Kabul undermines Taliban
The killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri in downtown Kabul was a bitter blow not just to Al Qaeda, but also to the Taliban, whose vow not to harbor dangerous
The killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri in downtown Kabul was a bitter blow not just to Al Qaeda, but also to the Taliban, whose vow not to harbor dangerous international terrorists has been exposed just short of a year after the militant group returned to power in Afghanistan.
Zawahiri, who went from being a young doctor in Cairo to becoming Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden’s former deputy and one of the masterminds of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was killed in a U.S. drone strike over the weekend. He was living with his family in a Taliban-supported safe house in an upscale neighborhood in the Afghan capital at the time of the strike.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called his presence there a gross violation of a 2020 deal in which the Taliban promised the United States not to allow terror groups to use Afghan soil to threaten the security of America and its allies.
How could Al Qaeda respond after U.S. kills top leader?Aug. 2, 202203:08Two decades after a U.S.-led invasion toppled the previous Taliban regime, their sheltering of another Al Qaeda leader will hinder the hard-line Islamic group’s quest for international legitimacy and much-needed aid, while raising new questions about the status of the global war on terror.
Al-Zawahiri, 71, escaped U.S. forces when they invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and his whereabouts were long unknown as he took over as Al Qaeda leader and continued to call for attacks against the U.S. and its allies. According to two senior Taliban leaders, the man who was one of America’s most-wanted fugitives moved to the Afghan capital some five or six months after the U.S. withdrawal from the country.