With a $25 million bounty, Zawahiri was one of the accused in the Twin Tower attacks and is said to have coordinated the attack that killed about 3,000 people. US President Joe Biden on Monday reported the death of top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US strike in Afghanistan.
Reuters, citing US officials, said the drone strike was carried out in Kabul at 6:18 a.m. local time on Sunday. The officials also confidently claimed that Zawahiri was killed in the strike with no other casualties.
"Now justice has been served and he is no longer a terrorist leader," Biden said in remarks from the White House. "We never back down."
Joe Biden expressed hope in his statement that the killing of the al-Qaeda leader would lead to "another measure of closure" for the families of the victims of the deadliest terror attack on American soil.
"Zawahiri continues to pose an active threat to American individuals, interests and national security," the official said on a conference call with Reuters. "His death is a significant blow to al Qaeda and will undermine the group's ability to operate." His death raises serious questions about promises made by the Taliban during the Doha Agreement, where it said it would no longer harbour al-Qaeda leaders. US intelligence officials believe the Taliban were aware of its presence in the Afghan capital.
The drone strike is the first known US attack inside Afghanistan since the fall of a democratic government since the withdrawal of US troops in August last year. The attack will likely add credibility to Washington's claim that it can deflect threats from Afghanistan without a military presence.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has condemned the US attack on its territory. Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack, saying it violated "international principles" and the 2020 Doha Agreement. Like his predecessor bin Laden, Zawahiri's death has been rumoured several times in recent years.
Even after the death of this terrorist leader, there is a possibility that now another terror leader will also be born who will bring a flood to Kabul.