Explained: All about Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death and its importance to India  

Source: Jim Sciutto Twitter

President Joe Biden on Monday informed that a U.S. missile strike over the weekend has killed one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who headed Al-Qaida, the terror outfit responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Who was al-Zawahiri

Al-Zawahiri, who would often appear in videos in a bid to recruit more Muslims into his terror network, was number two in the 22 “most wanted terrorists” list announced by the US government in 2001 and had a $25m bounty on his head. Born in Egypt in 1951 to a wealthy family and trained as a surgeon, Zawahiri, took over the terror group in 2011. Before that, he was said to be Osama bin Laden’s personal doctor.  Zawahiri succeeded Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda leader after years as its main strategist. According to the BBC, Zawahiri’s father, Mohamed al-Zawahiri, was a pharmacology professor in the same university. His grandfather was the grand imam of al-Azhar, centre of Islamic learning in west Asia. Zawahiri was first arrested when he was 15 years old for being a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Zawahiri was attracted towards radicalism soon after his studies. He joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1973 – the same year it was founded. He would later join this group with al-Qaeda in the early 90s, as per reports.

How the plan to kill al-Zawahiri was made

United States President Joe Biden and a close circle of senior advisors secretly planned the operation to kill al-Zawahiri for months. According to sources, over several months, intelligence officials grew more confident that they had correctly identified Zawahiri at the Kabul safe house and in early April started briefing senior administration officials. Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor, subsequently briefed President Joe Biden. “We were able to build a pattern of life through multiple independent sources of information to inform the operation,” the official said. He was standing on the balcony of a safe house in Afghanistan’s Kabul when hit by two Hellfire missiles. A tight circle of senior inter-agency lawyers examined the intelligence reporting and confirmed that Zawahiri was a lawful target based on his continuing leadership of Al Qaeda.

President Biden on July 25 convened his key Cabinet members and advisors to receive a final briefing and discuss how killing Zawahiri would affect America’s relationship with the Taliban, among other issues, the official said. After the successful operation, Biden said, “Now, justice has been delivered”.  He added: “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.”

Importance for India

While Zawahiri’s killing is crucial for the global war on terror, it was also important for India.  He mentioned India several times in his video postings over the years with the latest being the one on the hijab row. He had posted a nine-minute video of himself praising Muskan Khan, the young woman from Karnataka, for her valiant reply to the Hijab controversy. While it caused concern in certain sections, Muskan’s father swiftly reacted to the video saying “We do not know who he is and why he is involved in an issue of my country.”  But the Muslim girls swiftly rejected his support stating that their fight was within the limit of Indian Constitution.

Taliban condemns attack

The Taliban swiftly condemned the US operation.  “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns this attack on whatever the pretext,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, using the official name for the Taliban government. He denounced the strike as a “blatant violation of international principles and the Doha agreement,” referring to the 2020 talks that Taliban leaders held with the United States and Western leaders in Qatar over the withdrawal of U.S. and allied troops the following year.

As per a report by the UN Security Council, dated July 15, 2022, Al Zawahiri’s apparent increased comfort and ability to communicate has coincided with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the consolidation of power of key al-Qaeda allies within their de facto administration.

Extremely important to continue engaging constructively, seriously with India: Trudeau

Ottawa: Despite levelling allegations over the involvement of India in the murder case of Canada-based pro-Khalistan hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that it was "extremely...

Jaishankar refutes Trudeau’s allegations on Nijjar’s killing, says it’s not India’s policy

New Delhi: In a rebuke to the allegations levelled by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the involvement of India in the murder case of Canada-based pro-Khalistan hardliner Hardeep Singh...

Jaishankar sets agenda for India in multipolar world as bridge-builder, voice of South

United Nations: India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar set the agenda for a multipolar world where India is both a leader and a bridge-builder and the voice of the South...

US Ambassador in India defends PoK visit of American envoy in Islamabad

New Delhi: The US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti on Tuesday dismissed criticism of the American envoy in Islamabad visiting Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) on the ground that a US delegation had...

Trudeau’s India allegation based on ‘shared intelligence from Five Eyes’: US ambassador

Ottawa: US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen has said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation against India was based on "shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners," the media reported. "There...

Canada has ‘evidence’ linking Indian diplomats to Nijjar murder case

Ottawa: The Canadian government has collected "human and signal intelligence" involving Indian officials, including Indian diplomats present in Canada linking them to killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the media reported....

‘Fight against terrorism paramount’: Hope diplomatic engagement will take place between India-Canada, says Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said that the country’s fight against terrorism has to be uncompromising, especially when it threatens India's sovereignty, unity and integrity and hoped that intensive...

Women Reservation Bill passage teasing illusion, another election ‘jumla’: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Friday said the Women's Reservation Bill passed by Parliament was a "teasing illusion" and that it will not be implemented until 2029...

Intelligence on Nijjar’s killing provided by ally from Five Eyes

Toronto: Intelligence provided by an ally from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and communication intercepts between Indian officials that led Ottawa to hold New Delhi responsible for Khalistan leader Hardeep...

Trudeau went public with Nijjar claims as it was going to come out in media: Indian-origin Sikh minister

Toronto: A top Indian-origin Canadian Sikh minister has said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went public with allegations implicating India in Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing as he learned...

Canada’s allegations on terrorist’s killing appear to be politically driven, diplomats may be reduced, says India

New Delhi: India on Thursday said that Canada has not given any specific information about its allegations of New Delhi's hand in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar,...

Canada High Commission calls on Indian govt to ensure safety, security of diplomats, staff

New Delhi: Amid growing tensions, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi on Thursday called on the Indian government to ensure safety and security of diplomats and staff after they...

Read Previous

AG complains to the SC after Maharashtra Waqf Board replaces him

Read Next

Yogi govt dismisses 841 govt lawyers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com