Who was Ayman Al Zawahiri?
The rise and fall of Zawahiri’s predecessor, Osama bin Laden, was somewhat paralleled by his own journey from flaming revolutionary to the most wanted man in the world. From the middle of the 1990s, the men had forged a strong alliance, attracting jihadists from all over the world to create a significant and long-lasting danger to the western order. Their cooperation had been sparked by rage over the persecution of Muslims in Israel/Palestine and in Afghanistan.
Zawahiri had played a key role in every change in al-circumstances. Qaida’s On the planning meetings for 9/11, he was in charge of logistics. He also played a larger role in the 1998 bombings in Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole two years later, and the 2004 train bombings in Madrid.
Zawahiri was possibly the most important operational figure in the terror group until US forces murdered Osama bin Laden at a home in central Pakistan in 2011. However, as al-Qaida struggled to maintain relevance without it in the broader jihadist cause, Zawahiri became less important.
He had more ties to Islamic militancy than his boss had. As the son of a doctor and scholar, Zawahiri developed his worldview in Cairo in the late 1970s, when he had adopted the Palestinian cause and had assisted in the formation of the Islamic Jihad group, which was responsible for the assassination of Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat.
His first encounter with the outside world took place from a cage in a courtroom in Cairo, when he declared his staunch opinions with a hectoring finger that would later become well-known. Zawahiri had read Sayyid Qutb’s explosive writings and studied the Muslim Brotherhood, whose works served as the ideological foundation for what would later develop into the worldwide jihad.
The would-be terrorist disagreed with his educated Egyptian family; one of his grandfathers served as the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, and his grandfather’s uncle was a founding secretary of the Arab League. In different circumstances, Zawahiri might have become a politician.
But he had no qualms about rejecting his upbringing and joining a Saudi who was leading a radically different life. Although Zawahiri had greater prestige and power than Bin Laden, the latter had a more liberal upbringing in Jeddah.
The Saudi teacher, however, was followed without hesitation by the Egyptian pupil from the Arab world to the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. He mated with a Pashtun woman and fit well in. From the organization’s early months until his passing, he made friends with his hosts and became a powerful figure inside al-Qaida. But the demise of Bin Laden did have an effect. A void was left by the removal of a person of such significance and charisma that the stern figure in the background could never replace.
He was still determined to extend the group’s influence throughout the globe, but new challenges arose. The first of these was the Arab Spring, a phenomena that demonstrated that popular uprisings, rather than just militant Islamic jihad, were capable of toppling the exact Arab regimes that Zawahiri detested. Then the global jihad rival Islamic State appeared, starving al-Qaida of resources.
Zawahiri disappeared again, satisfied to pass the time while he was unable to carry out the assaults that had made al-Qaida famous. After reaching his mid-60s, Zawahiri’s health deteriorated. The skilled surgeon, who had kidney issues, was frequently believed to have passed away.
Instead, he was attempting to resurrect al-Qaida from the disarray of the previous ten years and ultimately make himself known as its head. Counterterrorism experts spent more time studying his plans and communiques than they did those of any other jihadist in recent years, despite the fact that that opportunity never materialised.
He might have needed a break, and the Taliban’s capture of Kabul offered him just that. Zawahiri felt secure enough to relocate his family into the villa of a prominent Taliban leader once he was back in the protective embrace of the group that had been hosting him since the mid-1990s. He spent some time observing the night sky from his balcony while residing in a city that he had long wished to rule.
It was far from the hills and caverns where he had hidden while people searched for him. But finally, Ayman al-Zawahir was at a loss.
How was He killed?
He was slain on Sunday during a CIA counterterrorism operation in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. He was one of the most wanted terrorists in America and collaborated with Osama Bin Laden in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. Al-Zawahiri, according to Vice President Biden, “crafted a trail of murder and brutality against American civilians.”
In a live televised address from the White House, the president stated that “from hiding, he coordinated al-branches Qaeda’s and all over the world, including setting priorities for providing operational direction and calling for and inspiring strikes against US targets.” He continued, “Justice has been served, and this terrorist leader is no more.
On Monday, the FBI changed Zawahiri’s status on its Most Wanted Terrorist poster to “Deceased.” After Bin Laden’s demise in 2011, the 71-year-old Egyptian physician assumed control of al-Qaeda. After months of preparation, Mr. Biden said he had granted the “precise strike” his final clearance. The drone reportedly fired two missiles at Zawahiri as he was on the balcony of a safe home, according to officials.
Other members of the family were present, but they were unharmed, and they added that only Zawahiri was slain in the incident. According to Mr. Biden, Zawahiri’s death will provide comfort to the almost 3,000 families of the victims of the 2001 attacks, in which hijackers smashed passenger jets into famous New York City and Washington, D.C. buildings, including two Manhattan skyscrapers. Additionally, 344 firefighters perished. The New York Firefighters Association’s president, Andrew Ansbro, commended Vice President Biden for “helping to bring another measure of closure to everybody devastated by these assaults.”
According to Mr. Biden, Zawahiri was also responsible for other violent crimes, such as the suicide bombing of the USS Cole naval warship in Aden in October 2000, which claimed the lives of 17 US soldiers, and the 223-death attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Although he never supports violence, Douglas Sidialo, who lost his sight in the Kenyan attack, told BBC Newsday that he is relieved to learn of Zawahiri’s passing. The fact that the perpetrators of these horrific and barbaric acts of cowardice are being brought to justice is positive, according to Mr. Sidialo, who made the statement.