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US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri in drone strike

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US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri in drone strike

US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri in drone strike

US forces kill Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri in drone strike

 

Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Al Qaeda chief, has been killed in a United States drone strike, President Joe Biden disclosed on Monday.

In a somber televised address, Biden noted that “justice had been delivered” to the families of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

 

 

 

According to him, the final go-ahead for the high-precision strike that successfully targeted Zawahiri in the Afghan capital over the weekend.

“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said, adding that he hoped Zawahiri’s death would bring “closure” to families of the 3,000 people killed in the United States on 9/11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A senior administration official said Zawahiri was on the balcony of a house in Kabul when he was targeted with two Hellfire missiles, an hour after sunrise on July 31, and that there had been no US boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

“We are not aware of him ever leaving the safe house. We identified Zawahiri on multiple occasions for sustained periods of time on the balcony of where he was ultimately struck,” the official said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the official’s account, the president gave his green light for the strike on July 25 — as he was recovering in isolation from Covid-19. Biden said there were no civilian casualties in the operation.

It was the first known over-the-horizon strike by the United States on an Al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan since American forces withdrew from the country on August 31, 2021, AFP reported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday evening that “by hosting and sheltering” Zawahiri, the Taliban had “grossly violated the Doha Agreement” signed in 2020, which paved the way for America’s withdrawal.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a comfortable Cairo household before turning to violent radicalism, had been on the run for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He took over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011, and had a $25 million US bounty on his head.

Over the weekend the Afghan interior ministry denied reports circulating on social media of a drone strike in Kabul, telling AFP a rocket struck “an empty house” in the capital, causing no casualties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Tuesday in Kabul, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an “aerial attack” was carried out on a residence in the Sherpur area of the city.

“The nature of the incident was not revealed at first. The security and intelligence agencies of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones,” his tweet said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The news comes a month before the first anniversary of the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, leaving the country in the control of the Taliban insurgency that fought Western forces over the preceding two decades.

Under the 2020 Doha deal, the Taliban promised not to allow Afghanistan to be used again as a launchpad for international jihadism, but experts believe the group never broke its ties with Al-Qaeda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What we know is that the senior Haqqani Taliban were aware of his presence in Kabul,” the Biden official said.

Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani also heads the feared Haqqani Network, a brutal subset of the Taliban blamed for some of the worst violence of the past 20 years and which has been described by US officials as a “veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Doctor turned jihadist –

Zawahiri, 71, lacked the potent charisma that helped bin Laden rally jihadists around the world, but willingly channeled his analytical skills into the Al-Qaeda cause.

He was believed to be the main strategist — the real mastermind who steered operations, including the September 11 attacks, as well as bin Laden’s personal doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saudi Arabia, the home country of bin Laden as well as many of the 9/11 hijackers, welcomed the announcement of Zawahiri’s death.

“Thousands of innocent people of different nationalities and religions, including Saudi citizens, were killed,” by terrorists under his leadership, the Saudi foreign ministry said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al-Qaeda is believed to have been degraded in the years since the US invasion of Afghanistan, and the White House official said Zawahiri was “one of the last remaining figures who carried this kind of significance.”

The organization, agreed Soufan Center researcher Colin Clarke, is “at a crossroads.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Despite Zawahiri’s leadership, which minimized AQ’s losses while rebuilding, the group still faces serious challenges going forward. For one, there’s the question of who will lead al Qaeda after Zawahiri’s gone,” he said.

Zawahiri’s father was a renowned physician and his grandfather a prayer leader at Cairo’s Al-Azhar institute, the highest authority for Sunni Muslims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He became involved with Egypt’s radical Muslim community at a young age and published several books which came for many to symbolize the radical Islamist movement.

He left Egypt in the mid-1980s, heading for Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar where the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was based.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was at that time, when thousands of Islamist fighters flooded into Afghanistan during the 1980s, that Zawahiri and bin Laden met, and in 1998 he became one of five signatories to bin Laden’s “fatwa” calling for attacks against Americans.

Jihadist monitor SITE said some militants were questioning the veracity of the report he had been killed, while others believed Zawahiri had achieved his desire of “martyrdom.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for Al-Qaeda’s future without him, SITE said jihadists were bullish, with one writing: “If Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri is dead, there are a thousand Aymans.”

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Foreign

US President, Joe Biden Tests Positive For COVID-19

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US President, Joe Biden Tests Positive For COVID-19

US President, Joe Biden Tests Positive For COVID-19

US President, Joe Biden Tests Positive For COVID-19

 

President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, his administration announced, saying the 79-year-old leader was experiencing “mild symptoms” and would carry out his full duties while isolating at the White House.

“He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” the White House said in a statement, adding that Biden had begun taking Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill Paxlovid.

 

 

 

 

“Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”

Credit: AFP

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Japan’s Ex prime minister, Shinzo Abe, dies after being shot

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Japan’s Ex prime minister, Shinzo Abe, dies after being shot

Japan’s Ex prime minister, Shinzo Abe, dies after being shot

Japan’s Ex prime minister, Shinzo Abe, dies after being shot

 

The former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has died, aged 67, after being shot while making a speech in the western city of Nara.

Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister until he resigned in 2020, was flown to hospital by helicopter after the attack. It was the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the days of prewar militarism in the 1930s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an emotional speech, Japan’s current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said Abe had led the country “with great leadership”, and he was “lost for words”.

“I have great respect for the legacy Shinzo Abe left behind and I pay the deepest condolences to him,” Kishida said. Other Japanese politicians expressed shock at the violence in a country in which political violence is rare and guns are tightly controlled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footage and accounts broadcast by Japanese media showed Abe’s speech interrupted by two loud bangs – possibly from a shotgun – and smoke, with Abe stumbling to the ground after the second shot.

The hospital that tried to save him said he died at 5.03pm (0803 GMT), about five and a half hours after he was shot. A doctor said Abe had bled to death from two deep wounds, one on the right side of his neck. He had no vital signs when he was brought in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moments after the shooting, members of Abe’s security detail wrestled a man to the ground metres behind the former prime minister. The suspect was wearing a grey shirt, light brown trousers and grey trainers. His face was partly obscured by a surgical mask. He reportedly did not attempt to flee before being detained at the scene.

Police identified the suspect as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of Nara. According to local media reports, police said the weapon thought to have been used in the attack was homemade. A photograph showed two cylindrical metal parts that appeared to have been heavily bound with black tape lying on the road near the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abe, who had been in Nara to make a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections, was a conservative politician known for his “Abenomics” policy to lift the world’s third-biggest economy out of deflation and for supporting a more prominent role for Japan’s military to counter growing threats from North Korea and a more assertive China.

Having quit abruptly as premier in 2007 after one year in the post, Abe swept back for a rare second stint in 2012, pledging to revive a stagnant economy, loosen the limits of a post-second world war pacifist constitution and restore conservative values.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abe became Japan’s longest-serving premier in November 2019, but by the summer of 2020 public support had been eroded by his handling of the Covid-19 outbreak as well as a series of scandals, including the arrest of his former justice minister.

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UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign

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UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign

Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson has agreed to resign, ending an unprecedented political crisis over his future that has paralyzed Britain’s government. His office made the disclosure on Thursday.

 

 

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