White Home hit on al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan immediately after al Zawahiri strike

FILE – This frame seize from video reveals al-Qaida’s chief Ayman al-Zawahri in a videotape issued Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006. The chief of al-Qaida has known as for attacks on Saudi Arabia following the kingdom’s mass execution of 47 folks in January, numerous of whom were being tied to the terror group. Al-Zawahiri’s responses came in a seven-moment audio recording released earlier this 7 days and documented by a U.S.-dependent terror keep an eye on, the Web-site Intelligence Team, on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (militant photograph by means of AP video clip, File) Nameless/AP

White Residence hit on al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan soon after al Zawahiri strike

Mike Brest

August 02, 05:31 PM August 02, 05:31 PM

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The White Dwelling confronted a torrent of thoughts from reporters pertaining to the existence of al Qaeda in Taliban-managed Afghanistan after the killing of the extremist network’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, shed light-weight on the Taliban’s standing.

A CIA drone strike took out al Zawahiri on Saturday night time as he stood on the balcony of a protected property in Kabul, Afghanistan, wherever he experienced been hiding for months. His presence was acknowledged by “senior users” of the Haqqani network, which has ties to al Qaeda and whose customers have received leading positions in the Taliban’s interim governing administration.


The information of his presence in Afghanistan and that Taliban officials tried using to cover-up the al Zawahiri strike raised thoughts about the Taliban’s willingness to create an surroundings that would let terror teams to rebuild their ranks. Regardless of individuals options, the White Dwelling has touted the strike that killed al Zawahiri as a message to other terror leaders in Afghanistan — that the United States can still target them even if the Taliban are in control and with out U.S. troops.

“[Al Qaeda wasn’t] enjoying a big role in functions or resourcing and organizing in Afghanistan,” National Protection Council communications coordinator John Kirby advised reporters on Tuesday. “But Peter, I know — particularly since I was at a various podium a 12 months back and we talked about the point that al Qaeda experienced a existence in Afghanistan but compact and not incredibly powerful or … strong. And I think all over again, without having having into the figures, we would nonetheless assess that to be the circumstance.”

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“We mentioned at the time that as we depart Afghanistan, we’re heading to continue to keep vigilant, we are heading to stay completely ready, and we’re not heading to allow Afghanistan come to be a risk-free haven for terrorists who threaten our homeland,” he included. “And this previous weekend, we proved that circumstance specifically.”

“I’m not likely to telegraph choices that haven’t been built or plan initiatives a person way or the other,” he ongoing after becoming pressed by a reporter about what the U.S. is “going to do about” Afghanistan staying a area where terrorists feel safe.

The strike was the U.S.’s initially above-the-horizon strike in Afghanistan since the navy withdrew at the stop of August of final 12 months, which concluded just about 20 a long time because the U.S. armed forces existence commenced just after 9/11, which al Zawahiri was liable for aiding strategy as Osama bin Laden’s deputy.

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