Ayman Al Zawahiri was a terrorist killed by a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend. During a successful counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan, the U.S. government killed al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman Al Zawahiri, removing him from the battlefield and reducing the terror network’s ability to operate. He was a top deputy to al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden before taking over the organization after his predecessor died in 2011.
Over the weekend, a drone strike killed him in Kabul. According to a translation of the thread, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed and condemned the attack on Twitter. He claims that this violated the 2020 Doha Agreement, which preceded the Biden administration’s highly criticized withdrawal of U.S. troops last year and called for the Taliban to fight terrorism.
In addition to being a doctor, Zawahiri founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terror group, which later merged with al-Qaeda, according to authorities.
Zawahiri, 71, was listed among the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, and a $25 million reward was offered for his capture.
Upon bin Laden’s death in Pakistan by Navy SEALs in 2011, he succeeded him as leader of al Qaeda. According to the State Department, he was involved in plotting Sept. 11, 2001, and the 1998 and 2000 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Publicly, he called for attacks against the United States and Western allies and abductions of American citizens.
The embassy bombings killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and injured more than 4,500 other victims. 17 U.S. sailors were killed in the attack on the USS Cole. In addition to bin Laden and Muhammad Atef, other conspirators have already been killed in separate attacks.
A total of seven other suspects are serving life sentences for the embassy bombings.
According to the State Department, Zawahiri was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo in his youth. Prior to joining forces with bin Laden in the mid-1980s, he studied medicine and became an eye surgeon. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, they became close.
Several documents seized from bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, indicate al Zawahiri graduated from Cairo University’s al Qasr al Ain medical school in 1974. As a result of his ideological opposition to secular governments, he was arrested in 1981 after the assassination of former Egyptian President Mohammad Anwar Al-Sadat for carrying a weapon illegally.
Recently, he condemned the brutality of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Al-Qaeda leader Saif al Adel remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted list concerning the embassy bombings. In addition, Zawahiri is the father-in-law of al Qaeda’s Abd al Rahman al Maghrebi.