In a stunning raid in Afghanistan, US forces finally tracked down and killed al-Qaeda leader and mastermind Ayman Al Zawahiri, with Biden announcing the raid about a day after it occurred.
Fox News, reporting on the details of the raid, noted that:
The United States government, on July 30 at 9:48 p.m. ET, and 6:18 a.m. Kabul time, undertook a “precision counterterrorism operation,” killing Zawahiri, who served as Osama bin Laden’s deputy during the 9/11 attacks, and as his successor in 2011, following bin Laden’s death.
Biden, announcing the successful raid on Al Zawahiri, claimed that “justice has been delivered”, saying:
“Now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. “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. We make it clear again tonight that, no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”
Biden then went on to explain that Zawahiri “coordinated al Qaeda’s branches all around the world” following bin Laden’s killing in Pakistan in 2011. That coordination of al Qaeda activities, according to Biden, includes “setting priorities for providing operational guidance that call for and inspire attacks against U.S. targets.”
He also added the “why” for the delay between the time of the raid and the announcement of it, saying “I’m sharing this news with the American people now, after confirming the mission’s total success through the painstaking work of our counterterrorism community and key allies and partners.”
Biden also related the killing to his withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying:
“And I made a promise to the American people that we continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We’ve done just that.”
Continuing with that point, he then argued that the killing shows the US will “never again allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven” and that “We’re going to make sure that nothing else happens–you know, it can’t be a launching pad against the United States,” Biden said of Afghanistan. “We’re going to see to it that won’t happen. This operation is a clear demonstration that we will, we can, and will always make good on that solemn pledge.”
It probably would have have been even less of a safe haven without all that equipment and all those weapons left behind.
Fox News quotes US officials as saying, when commenting on Zawahiri, that he “continued to pose an active threat to U.S. persons, interests, and national security,” and explained that the U.S. government has “multiple intelligence sources via multiple methods that had enabled us to confirm that this was Zawahiri, and that we were successful in achieving our objective.”
The raid is a stunning takedown of an obvious enemy in a faraway land, though one that likely won’t have the strategic importance Biden’s speech implies. As is usual, another underling will rise to the top and continue to wage war against the “Great Satan” as the endless war continues.
Still, it’s good to see the US military still has some ability to strike far away targets despite the rampant wokeness and the morale disaster caused by Lloyd Austin’s witch hunt and the humiliating rout from Afghanistan.
Featured image By Hamid Mir – http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/pakistan/main/2011/05/03/feature-02, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37176005