The mastermind behind the 1998 United States Embassies bombings in Nairobi and Dares Salaam which left 240 people killed and many others maimed for life has been killed by a drone strike.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the leader of Al-Qaeda, had been on the run after the death of Osama in 2011.
According to US President Joe Biden, the United States army fired two Hellfire missiles from a drone flying above the Afghan capital, striking Zawahiri’s safe house and killing him at the age of 71.
“From his hiding place, he coordinated Al-Qaeda’s branches all around the world, including setting priorities for providing operational guidance and calling for and inspiring attacks against US targets. Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” said the US president.
In an official statement released by the US officials, the operation was described as meticulously planned similar to that which killed bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout in 2011.
In his media briefing, Biden stated that the drone strike had been conducted following a series of important meetings that took weeks between his Cabinet and advisers. This finally resulted in Biden giving the green light for the precision strike after months of careful planning and strategising.
The Egyptian surgeon became one of the most wanted terrorists after being linked as one of the organizers of the September 11, 2001 twin tower attacks in the United States that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
After the demise of Osama in Pakistan, Zawahiri became a fugitive with the United States government placing a $25 million bounty on his head.
The US armed forces had been tracking him for years and he was killed in a counter-terrorism operation carried out by the CIA in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.