Ayman al-Zawahiri (R) |Photo Credit: Reuters
Ayman al-Zawahiri, considered as the top 1 most wanted terrorist has been taken out by the United States Government under the orders of president Joe Biden. Zawahiri was the leader of the al Qaeda and served as one of the masterminds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The plan was not an easy one, revealed US authorities. The operation took months after finally killing Zawahiri by zone strike while he was on his balcony in Kabul. Biden admitted that the operation was kept secret and only a handful of his senior advisers knew about the plan.
The people involved in the plan had to create models of Zawahiri’s safe house which was highly material to Biden’s final decision to carry out the drone attack.
According to Biden, he had fears that the planned drone strike might hit other civilians within the area. The president said that he would not want the operation to be the same as the drone strike that they initiated 11 months prior where other civilians were killed.
As the plan went on, Biden consistently ordered his officials to ensure that no other civilian gets killed, including Zawahiri’s family. According to report, the mission only took out Zawahiri, and none more.
A success for the Biden administration
On Monday, Biden announced the feat in the White House balcony where he is currently isolated after testing positive for Covid-19. That was were also the president stayed during the deliberation and authorization of the drone attack.
This serves as a big accomplishment of Biden’s administration amid low approval ratings of his government.
“People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer. The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm,” said Biden from the White House’s Blue Room Balcony.
The long process before authorization
Last April, Zawahiri was found to be frequenting his safe house in Kabul, according to reports by intelligence. While careful monitoring of Zawahiri’s actions went on, Biden was briefed by his officials. The intelligence took into consideration the support groups rallying behind the terrorist leader, along with the periodic visitation of his wife and children.
Officials then plotted patterns of behavior and activities, while they figured the structure of the building where Zawahiri stayed.
Other occupants were also identified as it was primal to Biden and his officials the safety of civilians during the drone strike.
The other challenge was where the safe house was situated – it is surrounded by residential homes. All factors had to be considered before sending the strike options to Biden, said the operatives working on the plans. Leaks were prevented to happen – authorities said that a “very small and select group” were the only ones informed of the plan.
The planned strike also considered the case of Mark Frerich, who was taken hostage in Afghan borders roughly two years ago.
“Going forward with the Taliban, we will continue to hold them accountable for their actions. And we have made clear to them in the intervening days that we also expect them to take no action that would harm Mark Frerichs, as we were involved in the effort to secure his release after his long detention and captivity,” he said.
As the months went by, the plans were almost finalized. High-ranking officials then gathered for classified meeting. Several key figures sat with Biden, including Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, Bill Burns, CIA Director, Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser and deputy Jon Finer, and Liz Sherwood Randall, Homeland Security Adviser.
By July 25, Biden went into isolation due to Covid-19 but the plan went on, and the authorization was given.
Last July 30, two Hellfire missiles were authorized to strike the area and authorities confirmed that the intended target, Zawahiri, was taken out by the strike – without any collateral damages.
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