Who was al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri?

Who was al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri?

Zawahiri, 71, was a key architect behind a number of assaults on the USA and was “deeply concerned” within the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, Biden mentioned.

“Folks all over the world not must concern the vicious and decided killer. America continues to exhibit our resolve and our means to defend the American folks in opposition to those that search to hurt us,” Biden mentioned from the White Home Blue Room Balcony.

This is what you must find out about Zawahiri and the US assault on him.

Born in 1951, Zawahiri grew up in an upper-class neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a outstanding doctor and the grandson of famend students.

His grandfather, Rabia’a ​​al-Zawahiri, was an imam at al-Azhar College in Cairo. His great-uncle, Abdel Rahman Azzam, was the primary secretary of the Arab League.

Zawahiri was jailed for his position within the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

“We wish to discuss to the entire world. Who’re we? Who’re we?” he instructed her in a jailhouse interview.

On the time, Zawahiri, a younger physician, was already a dedicated terrorist who plotted to overthrow the Egyptian authorities for years and tried to switch it with a fundamentalist Islamic authorities. He proudly backed Sadat’s assassination after the Egyptian chief made peace with Israel.

What was your relationship with Osama bin Laden?

Zawahiri left Egypt in 1985 and headed to Peshawar, Pakistan, the place he labored as a surgeon treating fighters who clashed with Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

It was there that Zawahiri met bin Laden, a outstanding mujahideen chief who had additionally left behind a privileged upbringing to affix the battle in Afghanistan. The 2 grew to become shut, united by their frequent bond as “Arab Afghans”.

After assembly in Afghanistan, bin Laden and Zawahiri appeared collectively in early 1998 saying the formation of the World Islamic Entrance for Jihad in opposition to Jews and Crusaders, formally merging Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda.

At one level, he acted as bin Laden’s private doctor.

“We’re working with brother bin Laden,” he mentioned in saying the merger of his terror group in Might 1998. “Now we have identified him for greater than 10 years. We fought with him right here in Afghanistan.”

Collectively, the 2 terrorist leaders signed a fatwa, or declaration: “The judgment of killing and combating Individuals and their allies, whether or not civilian or navy, is an obligation for all Muslims.”

What position did Zawahiri play in al Qaeda’s assaults on the US?

The assaults on the US and its services started shortly after bin Laden and Zawahiri’s fatwa, with the suicide bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed greater than 200 folks and injured greater than 5,000.

Then there was the assault on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000, when suicide bombers on a ship detonated their boat, killing 17 American sailors and wounding 39 others.

The end result of Zawahiri’s terrorist plans got here on September 11, 2001, when virtually 3,000 folks have been killed within the assaults on the dual towers of the World Commerce Middle and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airplane, certain for Washington, crashed in a Pennsylvania discipline after passengers fought again.

Earlier than and after the 9/11 assaults, Zawahiri appeared in quite a few movies and audio tapes calling for assaults on Western targets and urging Muslims to help his trigger.

Some Egyptians attributed Zawahiri’s anger at the USA to what many Afghan Arabs felt was the betrayal of the CIA in help of their trigger after the Soviets deserted Afghanistan and the nation fell into tribal anarchy.

Others date Zawahiri’s wrath to 1998, when US officers pushed for a number of members of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad to be extradited from Albania to face trial in Egypt for terrorism.

Zawahiri’s brother, Mohammad, instructed CNN in 2012: “Earlier than you name me and my brother terrorists, let’s outline its which means. If it refers to those that are bloodthirsty and ruthless killers, then this isn’t from what it is about,” he mentioned.

“We’re simply attempting to take again a few of our rights which were hijacked by Western powers all through historical past.”

When did Zawahiri begin main Al Qaeda?

Zawahiri grew to become the chief of Al Qaeda after US forces killed bin Laden in 2011.

It was on the transfer as soon as the US-led invasion of Afghanistan started after the 9/11 assaults. At one level, he narrowly escaped a US assault in Afghanistan’s rugged, mountainous Tora Bora area, an assault that left his spouse and youngsters useless.

Zawahiri “was not a bin Laden-style charismatic chief,” CNN nationwide safety analyst Peter Bergen mentioned Monday. “He did not show to be a really competent al-Qaeda chief. However I feel the explanation he was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend was that he was beginning to take much more dangers.”

“In line with the United Nations, it had launched an unprecedented variety of movies. Each time you’re taking a video, there’s the chain of custody of that video, take it out, someone can take the video,” Bergen continued.

“So it was turning into extra outstanding. And, I feel, it appears to me that which will have been why it was detected.”

At a briefing by a United Nations panel of specialists final week, it was famous that Zawahiri’s obvious elevated consolation and skill to speak has coincided with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the consolidation of energy by key allies. of al-Qaeda inside his de facto administration.

Zawahiri’s final identified public speech was an audio message broadcast on July 13 by al Qaeda’s media arm.

How did the US kill Zawahiri?

America has launched “a precision counterterrorism operation” in Afghanistan in opposition to Zawahiri, who was holed up in a protected home in Kabul, a senior administration official instructed reporters on Monday.

In line with the official, at 9:48 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 30, at 6:18 a.m. Kabul time, “a exact and tailor-made airstrike” was carried out with two Hellfire missiles through an unmanned airstrike. manned and was approved by Biden after weeks of conferences along with his cupboard and key advisers.

There have been no US personnel on the bottom in Kabul on the time of the assault.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Kylie Atwood, Natasha Bertrand and Donald Judd contributed to this report.

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