The yin to Osama bin Laden’s yang is now dead, according to Joe Biden. Ayman al-Zawahiri, whose Egyptian Islamic Jihad joined forces with bin Laden’s al-Qaeda in their shared quest to kill the “great satan,” is said to have been killed by a CIA-directed drone strike over the weekend in Afghanistan.
Biden made the announcement Monday afternoon, reading from his prompter that “justice had been delivered.” Indeed, two hellfire missiles reportedly took Zawahiri out in a home he shared with his family. Astonishingly, the hellfire missiles missed the rest of his family, though one reportedly struck the son and son-in-law of the Taliban leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, in whose home Zawahiri and his family reportedly were guests.
Charles Lister, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Institute’s Syria program and sometime Brookings Institution researcher, received several tips about the home and neighborhood where Zawahiri was secreted.
This is reportedly an image from the scene of the strike, in #Kabul‘s Sherpur neighborhood.
The apparent lack of explosive damage may suggest the U.S. used an R9X ‘flying ginsu’ missile, which is inert & carries self-deploying blades to kill a target with no collateral damage. pic.twitter.com/LLI31wT3Oe
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) August 1, 2022
Biden made the announcement late Monday afternoon, emerging from COVID-19 isolation to give an open-air statement about Zawahiri’s reported demise. If true, this is one of the few successes in Biden’s decades-long Washington career. In 2011, he urged then-President Obama not to go through with Operation Neptune Spear, the Navy SEAL op that killed Osama bin Laden.
Speaking in a live television address from a balcony at the White House, Biden announced that days ago he had authorized a strike to kill Zawahiri.
“Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said. https://t.co/jgXUVLQNCA
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 2, 2022
As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in his memoir, “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Indeed, Biden was due for a solid victory. This was the time. Rob O’Neill, who says he was the last one to see bin Laden alive before his bullet killed the terrorist, was delighted with the news and wished Zawahiri well in his new home in hell.
Ayman al-Zawahiri was just killed. He was al Qaeda’s #1. Great job CIA. He will burn in hell right next to bin Laden.
— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) August 2, 2022
This one success hardly makes up for Biden’s foreign policy disasters. His disastrous bug-out from Afghanistan has shaken the world’s respect for the U.S., especially after Biden left Americans, allies, and billions of dollars in military equipment behind to the whims of the Taliban. Biden committed American largesse and intelligence in the Russian war on Ukraine, exacerbating energy and food shortages, while he left the American border open to let other avowed terrorists on the U.S. terror watch list into the country. He did this at the same time he sacrificed American energy hegemony to the green nihilists.
When Trump took out two top terrorists, Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, then-Vice President Biden laughably said, “I’m glad President Trump ordered the mission. But as more details of the raid emerge, it’s clear that this victory was not due to Donald Trump’s leadership. It happened despite his ineptitude as commander-in-chief.”
Zawahiri, who gave up his eye surgery practice to go into the terrorism business full time, merged his Egyptian terror group with al-Qaeda to begin planning attacks on Western targets. Among the attacks were the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and the U.S.S. Cole bombing in Yemen. Later, the two collaborated with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to plan the Bonjinka plot, a botched precursor to the 9/11 plane hijackings, and collaborated again on the 9/11 terror attacks. He was responsible for killing thousands of Americans and others.
Both al-Qaeda leaders were located by CIA paramilitary special operators at Tora Bora after the 9/11 attacks but escaped during the fighting. CIA special operator Mike Spann was America’s first casualty after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The CIA getting the kill shots on Zawahiri may have been a case of sweet revenge after 20-plus years of looking for him.
Zawahiri’s signature owlish look was accentuated by the red mark on his forehead, a stress point from his years of prayers to his jihadist god. It’s unclear what was left of Zawahiri after the drone strikes or how the U.S. confirmed the kill.
The Washington Post reported that the strike occurred on Saturday night.
The strike occurred at 9:48 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the operation. A drone fired two Hellfire missiles at Zawahiri as he stepped onto the balcony of a safe house in Kabul, where he had been living with members of his family, the official said.
… The intelligence community had tracked Zawahiri to the safe house and spent months confirming his identity and developing a “pattern of life,” tracking his movements and behavior, the official said. Intelligence personnel also constructed a model of the safe house, which was used to brief Biden on how a strike could be carried out in such a way that it lessened the chances of killing any other occupants or civilians, the official said, adding that intelligence agencies have concluded that Zawahiri was the only person killed in the strike [which is now in dispute as we report above].
When Biden bugged out of Afghanistan like a crackhead trying to hide his drugs while the cops were banging on the door, the Taliban pinky-swore that it would no longer hide bad people from Americans. After the raid was made public, announcing Zawahiri’s death, reportedly in the Taliban leader’s house, the terror group “strongly condemned the attack,” declaring it a “violation of international norms and the Doha peace deal.” So we guess the Taliban really didn’t mean it. Yet more evidence of Joe’s dumb moves.
Indeed, giving up the lives and limbs of American servicemen and women could have been avoided if we had kept to the original mission in Afghanistan: kill the bad guys.
If Zawahiri is dead, at least Biden did the right thing this time. But you’ll forgive us if we ask for proof of death first.
If he is gone, then good riddance, Zawahiri. Rot in hell.