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“Cautious Affected individual Work”: How US Intelligence Tracked Down Al-Qaeda Chief – IHNS

The strike was carried out at 9:48 p.m. ET (0148 GMT) on July 30 by a drone.


Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, the most important blow to the terrorist group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

Zawahiri had been in hiding for years and the operation to seek out and kill him was the outcomes of “cautious affected individual and power” work by the counter-terrorism and intelligence neighborhood, a senior administration official instructed reporters.

Until the US announcement, Zawahiri had been rumored variously to be in Pakistan’s tribal house or inside Afghanistan.

Speaking on the state of affairs of anonymity, the official provided the subsequent particulars on the operation:

* For quite a lot of years, the US authorities had been acutely aware of a group that it assessed supported Zawahiri, and over the earlier 12 months, following the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, officers had been anticipating indications of Al Qaeda’s presence inside the nation.

This 12 months, officers acknowledged that Zawahiri’s family – his partner, his daughter and her children – had relocated to a protected dwelling in Kabul and subsequently acknowledged Zawahiri on the same location.

* Over quite a lot of months, intelligence officers grew additional assured that they’d appropriately acknowledged Zawahiri on the Kabul protected dwelling and in early April started briefing senior administration officers. Jake Sullivan, Nationwide Security Advisor, subsequently briefed President Joe Biden.

“We now have been able to assemble a pattern of life by quite a lot of unbiased sources of data to inform the operation,” the official acknowledged.

As quickly as Zawahiri arrived on the Kabul protected dwelling, officers weren’t acutely aware of him leaving it they often acknowledged him on its balcony – the place he was ultimately struck – on quite a lot of occasions, the official acknowledged.

* Officers investigated the event and nature of the protected dwelling and scrutinized its occupants to verify the US may confidently conduct an operation to kill Zawahiri with out threatening the structural integrity of the establishing and minimizing the hazard to civilians and Zawahiri’s family, the official acknowledged.

* In newest weeks, the president convened conferences with key advisors and Cabinet members to scrutinize the intelligence and take into account the proper plan of motion. On July 1, Biden was briefed on a proposed operation inside the White Dwelling State of affairs Room by members of his cabinet along with CIA Director William Burns

Biden “requested detailed questions on what we knew and the best way we knew it” and thoroughly examined a model of the protected dwelling the intelligence neighborhood had constructed and dropped on the meeting.

He requested about lighting, local weather, constructing provides, and totally different elements that might affect the success of the operation, the official acknowledged. The president moreover requested analysis of the potential ramifications of a strike in Kabul.

* A good circle of senior inter-agency attorneys examined the intelligence reporting and confirmed that Zawahiri was a lawful objective based totally on his persevering with administration of Al Qaeda.

On July 25, the president convened his key Cabinet members and advisors to acquire a final briefing and concentrate on how killing Zawahiri would affect America’s relationship with the Taliban, amongst totally different factors, the official acknowledged. After soliciting views from others inside the room, Biden accepted “a precise tailored air strike” on the state of affairs that it lower the hazard of civilian casualties.

* The strike was ultimately carried out at 9:48 p.m. ET (0148 GMT) on July 30 by a drone firing so-called “hellfire” missiles.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by IHNS staff and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)


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