The leader of the dreaded Al-Qaeda terrorist network, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been killed.
Reports emerging on Tuesday morning confirmed that Al-Zawahiri was killed in Afghanistan by a United States drone strike.
HausaToday understands that the deceased was anointed the leader of the terror group after the death of his predecessor, Osama Bin Laden.
It could be recalled that Bin Laden, a renowned Saudi Arabian-born terrorist and founder of the Pan-Islamic militant organization Al-Qaeda was killed on 11th May 2011.
Bin Laden was killed during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan by a Navy SEAL team.
Al Qaeda was without a leader until a month after Bin Laden’s death when Al-Zawahri put out a video clip to announce his emergence as the new leader.
Al-Zawahiri is understood to be one of the world’s deadliest terrorists.
Prior to his death, a bounty of $25m had been placed on Al-Zawahiri for helping to mastermind the 9/11 attacks in which four civilian aircraft were hijacked and used to crush the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon near Washington and a Pennsylvania field, killing about 3,000 people, HausaToday learnt.
White House officials had told an indigent news platform that Al-Zawahiri was spotted on a balcony on numerous occasions after he moved into a safe house with his family in downtown Kabul, where he continued to produce al-Qaida propaganda videos for several months before he met his waterloo.
US President, Joe Biden has reacted to the terrorist’s death, describing it as a huge blow to the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
President Biden was said to have ordered the attack on the safe house at a meeting of key cabinet members and national security officials on 25 July, having ensured that every step had been taken to ensure the operation would minimize risk and casualties.
“Two Hellfire missiles were fired at Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed. We are confident through our intelligence sources and methods, including multiple streams of intelligence, that we killed al-Zawahiri and no other individual,” a Whitehouse official was quoted as saying to a media outlet.
The official explained that though al-Zawahiri’s family members were present in the safe house during the strike, they were not targeted nor harmed.
“We have no indications that civilians were harmed in the strike. We took every possible precaution to avoid civilian harm,” the official further noted.
Also reacting on Monday night, former US President, Barack Obama said: “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. We will never forget. We continue to mourn every innocent life that was stolen on 9/11 and honor their memories.”