President Joe Biden announced on Monday that Osama Bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan.
Al-Zawahiri was leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda since June 2011.
Biden said on Monday that the terrorist leader was killed over this past weekend, after the counterterrorism community located him earlier this year.
“We’ll make it clear again tonight. No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you a treat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out. After relentlessly staking him for years under Bush, Obama, and Trump, our intelligence community located al-Zawahir this year,” he said.
This was a notable mention of former President Donald Trump’s name, who Biden usually only refers to as “the previous administration.”
Biden said that the strike was made after “carefully considering the convincing evidence of his location.”
“I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all,” said Biden.
The mission was “carefully planned to rigorously minimize the risk to other civilians,” he said, adding that he was advised that “the conditions were optimal.
“I gave the final approval to go get him,” he said.
Biden said that no members of the terrorist’s family were hurt, and that there were no civilian casualties.
“I’m sharing this news with the American people now after confirming the mission’s total success, through the painstaking work of our counterterrorism community, key allies, and partners,” he said.
“… When I ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, I made a decision that after twenty years of war, the US no longer needed thousands of boots on the ground in Afghanistan to protect Americans from terrorists that seek to do us harm,” Biden said, referring to the disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, that saw 13 service members killed.
And I made a promise to the American people that we continue to conduct effective counterterrorist operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We’ve done just that,” he said.
“This is a great and defining truth about our nation and our people. We do not break, we never give in. We never back down,” assured Biden.
“Last year on 9/11, I once more paid my respect to ground zero in New York City… Standing at the memorial at ground zero, seeing the names of those who died forever etched in bronze, is a powerful reminder of the sacred promise we made as a nation—we will never forget,” said Biden.
Biden took no questions.
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