Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri killed in US drone strike

Tags: International News

U. S. President Joe Biden said on August 1 that the United States killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone air strike in Kabul.

Important facts

  • The killing of Zawahiri is seen as the biggest blow to the terrorist group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

  • Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who later became one of the world's most wanted terrorists.

  • He was considered as the mastermind of the attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2001.

  • About 3 thousand people died in that terrorist attack.

  • The US had placed a $25 million bounty on Zawahiri.

  • The drone strike is the first known US attack inside Afghanistan since US troops and diplomats left the country in August 2021.

  • Zawahiri was earlier hiding in Pakistan but after the Taliban government came to power, he reached Kabul.

Who was Ayman al-Zawahiri?

  • Born into a middle-class family in Egypt, Zawahiri grew up to become a doctor.

  • He graduated from Cairo University's Al Qasr Al Ain Medical School in 1974.

  • Ideologically he opposed secular governments, and was arrested in 1981 after the assassination of former Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar al-Saadat for carrying weapons without a license.

  • He served three years as a surgeon in the Egyptian Army. 

  • In 1993, he took over the leadership of Islamic Jihad in Egypt and became a key figure in the mid-1990s campaign to overthrow the government and establish a pure Islamic state.

  • He was found to be involved in the murder of more than 1,200 Egyptians.

  • In 2011 he took on al-Qaeda when a team of Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

  • He and bin Laden co-opted the 9/11 attacks and was one of America's "Most Wanted Terrorists".

  • He was listed as one of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists, and had a $25 million reward for his capture.

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