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Taliban leaders knew al Zawahiri was in Afghanistan, Biden administration says

In this Oct. 7, 2001 file image, Osama bin Laden, remaining, and his best lieutenant Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri, correct, are witnessed at an undisclosed spot in this television graphic broadcast. (AP Photo/Al-Jazeera, File)

Taliban leaders realized al Zawahiri was in Afghanistan, Biden administration suggests

Mike Brest

August 01, 07:46 PM August 01, 08:59 PM

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Major Taliban leaders understood that al Qaeda main Ayman al Zawahiri, the successor of Osama bin Laden, was hiding in Afghanistan, in accordance to a senior administration official who spoke to reporters shortly following the facts emerged about a strike that took out the terrorist leader.

Two Hellfire missiles had been fired at al Zawahiri’s harmless property in Kabul, and there ended up no indications that anybody else died in the strike that transpired on Saturday night time, the official said. The official also accused Taliban leaders of hoping to include up the al Qaeda leader’s existence at the compound.

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Previously this yr, the United States determined the safe residence he was staying in and commenced monitoring him for the next couple of months. Even though his relatives members ended up in the safe house at the time of the strike, the formal stated they had been unharmed.

The Taliban have considering the fact that eliminated the family from the home, which the formal explained as “consistent with a broader exertion to include up” their presence at the harmless household.

“Senior Haqqani Taliban figures were knowledgeable of Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul. The moment Zawahiri … arrived at the site, we are not informed of him at any time leaving the [safe house],” the official claimed. “We recognized Zawahiri on numerous events for sustained periods of time on the balcony where by he was in the long run struck.”

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Al Zawahiri had formerly served as bin Laden’s deputy given that 1998. The two fulfilled in the course of the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s.

This was the U.S.’s to start with strike in Afghanistan since the army still left final August regardless of the administration’s insistence that it would be able to assemble plenty of intelligence correctly from afar to manage strikes.

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