The killing of Zawahiri in Afghanistan is seen as a political win for the Biden administration nearly a yr after a closely criticized U.S. withdrawal from the nation, which left it underneath Taliban management and sparked fears that al-Qaeda might reassert itself there.
Obama known as the information “proof that it’s attainable to root out terrorism with out being at conflict in Afghanistan,” including that he hoped Zawahiri’s demise would offer “a small measure of peace to the 9/11 households and everybody else who has suffered by the hands of al-Qaeda.”
The Taliban authorities “strongly condemned the assault,” chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned, calling the strike a violation of worldwide norms and the settlement signed in Doha, Qatar, by america and the Taliban in 2020.
However a senior Biden administration official mentioned that the al-Qaeda chief’s presence in Kabul constitutes a violation of the Doha deal and that senior members of the Haqqani Taliban faction had been conscious that Zawahiri was residing within the Afghan capital and took steps after the strike to hide his presence.
Messages of help poured in from lawmakers shortly after Biden’s tackle. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi counseled Biden “for his robust management,” whereas Senate Majority Chief Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) known as the mission “a significant accomplishment” that introduced justice to one of many folks “who helped orchestrate the cold-blooded homicide of hundreds of my fellow New Yorkers on 9/11.”
Senator Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in a assertion posted on Twitter on Monday night, equally credited Biden for approving the drone operation, saying “the world is a greater, safer place” with out Zawahiri. However McConnell urged the administration to give you a complete safety plan in Afghanistan in gentle of the truth that Zawahiri appeared to have been residing in central Kabul.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of many first two Muslim girls elected to Congress, wrote on social media that Zawahiri was “a monster accountable for the deaths of hundreds all over the world.” Two Senate Republicans — Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) — additionally issued statements late Monday, commending the U.S. army and intelligence neighborhood for taking down the terrorist chief.
However Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has promoted conspiracy theories together with one suggesting 9/11 was a hoax, slammed Biden for making an attempt to “act powerful on TV.” Greene tweeted that whereas Zawahiri plotted 9/11 and the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole in 2000, “nobody in America has been sweating an assault from Al Qaeda these days and even heard a factor about them.”
The group 9/11 Households United issued an announcement expressing gratitude to U.S. intelligence businesses and the army for the “sacrifices which were made in eradicating such evil from our lives.” However the information can be a reminder, mentioned Chair Terry Strada, that for full accountability, “President Biden should additionally maintain the Saudi paymasters accountable for killing our family members,” referring to allegations that brokers of the Saudi Arabian authorities supplied help for the 9/11 plot. Saudi authorities have repeatedly denied such a hyperlink. The 9/11 Fee famous in 2004 that it discovered no proof that “the Saudi authorities as an establishment or senior officers inside the Saudi authorities funded al Qaeda.”
Following Biden’s tackle, Saudi Arabia swiftly launched an announcement welcoming the demise of Zawahiri, who it mentioned “led the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations” that killed harmless folks, together with Saudi residents.” The Persian Gulf kingdom turned the goal of al-Qaeda bombings after 9/11, most notably a 2003 assault in its capital, Riyadh, that killed 11 folks and injured greater than 120.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a detailed U.S. ally, later known as Zawahiri’s demise “a step towards a safer world,” whereas his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, mentioned he hoped that the kin of victims would “discover some small solace” in Zawahiri’s demise.
Ellen Francis contributed to this report.