CIA identified and killed Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul

Ayman al-Zawahiri, an al-Qaida leader has been killed by a CIA-led US strike in Afghanistan. The operation took a lot of persistence and patience as he has been in hiding for years. The CIA succeeded in tracking the locations of Zawahiri’s children wife and other family members in Kabul which led them to al-Zawahiri’s location in Kabul.

According to the National Security Adviser of the United States, Mr. Jake Sullivan, al-Zawahiri along with Osama Bin Laden was among the prime co-conspirators of the 9/11 attacks. Following years long search for the man, vigilance was increased after the US pulled out of Afghanistan. Having located and confirmed the identity of al-Zawahiri, authorisation request was sent to President Joe Biden. Finally once authorisation was received, al-Zawahiri was killed at his residence when he was spotted standing on the balcony.

To conduct this operation, the officials made sure that no other member of his family would be killed or harmed in any way. It was briefed to Biden on July 1, 2022, by the officials in the White House Situation Room under the leadership of CIA Director William Burns.

To execute the operation a number of challenges had to be dealt with, as is the case with international operations in hostile territory. The construction materials, lighting, and weather could have hindered the success of the operation. 

On July 25, 2022, the advisors and cabinet members conducted the final briefing to Joe Biden followed by the final operation on July 30. The officials knew in advance that this could affect the relationship of America with the Taliban. At 0148 GMT (9:48 PM ET) on July 30 the strike was carried out by dropping hellfire missiles using the drone.  al-Zawahiri has been on target by the US government since 1998. He was the founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and on August 7, 1998, he was also actively involved in the bombing of United States Embassies in Kenya, Nairobi, Tanzania, and Dar es Salaam.

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