Image Source: NY Times
Under the directive of President Joe Biden, the US government assassinated Ayman al-Zawahiri. Who was regarded as the world’s most wanted terrorist. Al Qaeda’s commander Zawahiri was a key player in planning the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
US officials said the military operation did not go easy. Months of planning had to be done to kill their target through a zone strike. While Zawahiri was staying on his balcony in Kabul. Biden admitted that the move was secret. That only a few of his top advisers were aware of the plan.
Zawahiri’s safe house in Kabul
The people involved in the plan had to create models of Zawahiri’s safe house in Kabul. Which was essential to Biden’s final decision to execute the drone strike.
According to Biden, he was concerned that the drone strike could harm nearby civilians as well. The President declared. He did not want the operation to be similar to the drone strike. They had been carried out 11 months earlier. In which unsuspecting civilians had been included in the blast.
As the plan unfolded, Biden repeatedly directed his officials to ensure that no other civilians, including Zawahiri’s family, were killed. According to reports, the mission only took out Zawahiri.
Biden administration wins
On Monday, Biden announced the feat on the White House balcony. Where he is currently isolated, after testing positive for Covid-19. The President was also there while the drone attack was being discussed and approved.
This is a significant accomplishment for Biden’s administration, given his government’s low approval ratings.
In a statement while in the White House’s Blue Room Balcony, Biden said. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer. The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve. Our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm.”
According to intelligence reports, Zawahiri was seen frequenting his safe house in Kabul last April. While Zawahiri’s actions were being closely monitored, Biden was briefed by his officials. The intelligence considered the terrorist leader’s support groups, as well as his wife and children’s visits, on a regular basis.
While analyzing Zawahiri’s behavior and activity patterns, officials also determined the building’s structural layout.
Other occupants were also identified because the safety of civilians. During the drone strike was paramount to Biden and his officials.
Another difficulty was the location of the safe house, which is surrounded by residential homes. According to the operatives working on the plans. All factors had to be considered before sending the strike options to Biden. Leaks were avoided because authorities stated that only a “very small and select group” was informed of the plan.
Authorities also took the two-year hostage situation involving Mark Frerich. Within Afghan territory into consideration as the strike was being planned.
The President said
The President said, “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.”
The plans were nearly completed as the months passed. Following that, high-ranking officials convened for a classified meeting. Bill Burns, CIA Director, Avril Haines, Liz Sherwood Randall. Homeland Security Adviser, Director of National Intelligence Jake Sullivan. National Security Adviser and deputy Jon Finer, all met with Biden.
On July 25, Biden self-isolated due to Covid-19, but the plan was implemented, and approval was granted.
Two Hellfire missiles were allowed to hit the region on July 30. And authorities reported that the strike killed Zawahiri without causing any collateral damage.