Looking beyond the killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri
The head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan following U.S. drone strikes.
Joe Biden said the following yesterday:
On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully concluded an air strike in Kabul, Afghanistan and killed al Qaeda Amir Ayman al-Zawahiri.
He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats, and American interests. Zawahri was Bin Laden's leader, his number two man, and his deputy during the time of terrorist attacks on 9/11. He was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11.
YouTube screen grab.
His Twitter account also tweeted this:
The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm.— President Biden (@POTUS) August 2, 2022
Tonight we made clear:
No matter how long it takes.
No matter where you try to hide.
We will find you.
Al-Zawahiri had also masterminded the suicide bombing of the USS Cole naval destroyer in Aden in October 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors and the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 223 people were killed.
Al-Zawahiri took over al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan back in 2011. Zawahiri is also one of the U.S.'s "most wanted terrorists."
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid also confirmed the strike: "An airstrike was carried out on a residential house in Sherpur area of Kabul city on July 31."
Mujahid said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan "strongly condemns this attack on any pretext and calls it a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement."
Mujahid also issued a warning that "such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the United States of America, Afghanistan, and the region. Repeating such actions will damage the available opportunities."
The mainstream media, desperately looking for a way to cover Biden favorably, may have reason to celebrate, especially with the midterms inching closer.
First, some facts about the U.S.-Afghan conflict.
The U.S. spent almost $5.8 trillion on the war and rebuilding of Afghanistan.
The U.S. had troops on the ground and even an administrative presence for nearly two decades.
The Brown University Costs of War project, which tracks casualties of war, reported the following regarding the Afghan conflict:
- 47,245 Afghan civilians and 66,000 Afghan national military and police personnel were killed.
- 2,448.US service members and 3,846 defense contractors were killed in Afghanistan.
- 1,144 allied service members, including from other NATO member states were also killed.
- 444 Aid workers and 72 Journalists were also killed.
One of the primary goals of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan was to prevent it from becoming a safe haven and training ground for Islamic terrorists.
The New York Times reported that the location where the missiles struck Al- Zawahiri is a wealthy downtown enclave within what is considered the city's diplomatic quarters, which once housed dozens of Western embassies and now is home to some high-ranking Taliban officials.
This clearly proves that Afghanistan has once again become the headquarters for Islamic terrorists.
The NYT also reported:
[A]fter the US drone strike that killed al-Zawahri, members of the terror group Haqqani network had tried to conceal that the al-Qaeda leader was at the house in Kabul, which reportedly was owned by a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, and restricted access to the site.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is the interior minister in the Taliban "government" in Kabul. Clearly, the Taliban is actively supporting terror groups.
There are also serious questions that need to be asked about Pakistan, the terror state where Osama bin Laden made his home.
The Times of India quotes a U.S. report that Al-Zawahiri was long believed to have been living in Pakistan.
The report also stated that the fact that Al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul is a testament to not only the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also to al-Qaeda's decades-long use of facilities, houses, buildings, and compounds throughout both countries.
Under President Trump, Afghanistan had seen some progress, despite the Afghan government's considerable inadequacies and corruption. It was relatively peaceful, and there was some economic growth. Women were relatively safe and could go to work. Schools and universities were functioning with even female students in attendance. The U.S. government spent less than before, and there were no U.S. soldier casualties for over a year.
Biden's surreptitious, ill planned, and abrupt withdrawal has undone all progress, and Afghanistan is back to being a safe abode for terrorists.
What is more troubling is that the Biden administration left behind billions of dollars' worth of U.S. advanced weaponry, such as Black Hawks and Humvees. These arms are obviously in the custody of the worst and most dangerous terrorists in the world, who have made Afghanistan their home.
If that wasn't enough, the U.S. and other global powers have been dispatching advanced weaponry to Ukraine. There is no tracking mechanism for these arms. It isn't beyond the realm of possibility that the weapons will find their way to Afghanistan.
The killing of Al-Zawahiri could be regarded as a symbolic victory, but it will have very little impact on the ground in Afghanistan or Pakistan, where terrorists have easy access to advanced U.S. weaponry.
Al-Zawahiri had passed his prime and was rumored to be in bad health. He was rarely seen in public. Al-Zawahiri's obsolescence was evident as he struggled to keep up with younger, more radical terrorist groups such as ISIS.
The most troubling aspect of this news is the fact that Al-Zawahiri was living in the most affluent and influential part of Kabul, with active support from the Taliban and Pakistan.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are obviously several other terror groups that have made Afghanistan their home and are planning dastardly attacks on the civilized world.