This Monday was confirmed by the president of the United States, Joe Biden, the death of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, in a US counter-terrorism operation in Kabul, Afghanistan over the weekend.
Who was Ayman al-Zawahiri?
Ayman al-Zawahiri, He was the terrorist leader, after the death of Osama Bin Laden of the Al Qaeda group who had graduated as an ophthalmic surgeon, but instead, he became the most wanted terrorist leader, one for whom the US State Department offered a $25 million reward.
However, the terrorist leader, who was allegedly killed this weekend in a US operation in Afghanistan, helped found Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, an Islamist group, which eventually merged with Al-Qaeda, the organization that Osama Bin Laden founded and that was behind the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Once Bin Laden was killed by US forces during an operation in Abbottabad Pakistan, May 2, 2011, Al-Zawahiri, considered the right hand of the same and main ideologue of Al-Qaeda, he became the leader of the organization.
It should be noted that Al-Zawahiri he was just a young teenager when he became part of Islamic Jihad. He was jailed twice for his help in plots to kill two Egyptian leaders.
He wanted to create an Islamic State in Egypt
Through Jihad, Al-Zawahiri he wanted to create an Islamic State in Egypt. When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Al-Zawahiri and his group joined the mujahideen in fighting them. That was how he met Osama.
Al-Zawahiri was one of the most renowned faces of Al-Qaeda since it appeared frequently in videos and audios, asking to attack Western targets.
“It’s Osama’s number two,” the terrorism analyst said at the time, Peter Bergen. According to some experts, Al-Zawahiri was the real “operational brain” of the 9/11 attacks.
After those attacks, which destroyed the twin towers in New York, as well as a part of the Pentagon, and left almost 3 thousand dead Osama became in the most wanted man by the United States government and Al-Zawahiri in number two.
On the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda the Egyptian surgeon to plunged into Washington’s number one public enemy spot.
Al-Zawahiri was already a leader among the Islamists
He was born on June 19, 1951, in the Cairo. “He used to write poetry to his mother” dijo Mahfouz Azzam, tío de Al-Zawahiri, noting that his nephew was deeply religious.
“He was known as a good Muslim, who liked to pray in the mosque,” he added.
During his time in prison was sentenced to three years in prison on weapons charges in connection with the plot to assassinate to the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, his charisma, and his fluency with English, made him a spokesman for imprisoned Islamic activists.
By the time he got out of jail, Al-Zawahiri was already a leader among the Islamists. In 1985 he left Egypt and he moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he worked as a surgeon treating combatants facing the Soviets in Afghanistan.
His closeness with Osama bin Laden made them known as the “Arab Afghans.” After the war in Afghanistan, Al-Zawahiri joined bin Laden in Sudan, where he planned terrorist attacks. like the one that happened at the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. He was also linked with various assassination attempts on Egyptian politicians.
In 1998, with Bin Laden, announced the formation of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders, merging Jihad and Al-Qaeda. Together they issued a fatwa, which read: “Killing and fighting Americans and their allies, whether civilian or military, is an obligation of every Muslim.”
That same year, Al-Zawahiri he was indicted for his role in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. For some Egyptians, what sparked Al-Zawahiri’s wrath with the United States it was what he felt was a betrayal by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for failing to support his cause after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan and the country sank into anarchy.
last november an audio attributed to the Egyptian was broad castin which he accused the United Nations of being “hostile” with Islam and warned the Islamic nation of the “threat posed by the UN”.
Although he never achieved the status that Osama did, and although Al-Qaeda is no longer the strong group it used to be, after losing ground against other groups, such as the Islamic State, Al-Zawahiri’s assassination is a major victory for the United States in the fight against terrorism. More so because it occurs almost a year after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
After the withdrawal, ordered by the Joe Biden administration, the US president assured that the fight against Al-Qaeda terrorism would continue.
“The coup that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is a great success for US counterterrorism efforts. It is the result of countless hours of information gathering over many years,” Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon official and retired CIA paramilitary operations officer, told Politico.
“The message to all members of Al Qaeda and its affiliates must be that the United States will never waver in its mission to hold accountable those who seek to harm the United States and its people,” he added.