Zawahiri was wanted for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. He had taken over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.
New York: A day after news of the death of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike spread, the US State Department issued a worldwide alert and said the terrorist organisation may attack US facilities, personnel, or citizens.
Tuesday, US President Joe Biden had announced that most wanted terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan’s Kabul and added that “justice has been delivered” to the families of those who died in the 9/11 attack.
The alert by the US State Department read, “On July 31, 2022, the United States conducted a precision counterterrorism strike in Afghanistan that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy and successor as leader of al-Qa’ida. Al- Zawahiri was one of the masterminds of the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, and had continued to urge his followers to attack the United States.”
The alert added, “Following al-Zawahiri’s death, supporters of al- Qa’ida, or its affiliated terrorist organizations, may seek to attack US facilities, personnel, or citizens. As terrorist attacks often occur without warning, US citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when travelling abroad.”
Zawahiri was wanted for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. He had taken over Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011. Zawahiri had a $25 million US bounty on his head.
The operation, conducted over the weekend, has not seen any civilian casualty, Biden said. In a tweet, the US President said, “The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm. Tonight we made clear: No matter how long it takes. No matter where you try to hide. We will find you.”
He also said, “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.” Sources said, President Biden had given the go-ahead for the attack. According to officials close to the operation, Zawahiri was in the balcony of his Kabul residence when he was attacked by two Hellfire missiles on July 31.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had confirmed the strike and condemned the operation by tagging it as a violation of the international principles.