In an address from the White House on Monday (August 1) evening, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend.
Making his address from the balcony of the White House residence’s Blue Room, where he is currently isolating, President Joe Biden stated, “He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats and American interests.”
Biden continued, “Now, justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.”
A senior administration official provides more details about the drone strike. The official told reporters that the drone strike with Hellfire missiles was carried out in the evening of Saturday (July 30) Eastern Time — Sunday morning in Kabul. The official also revealed that al-Zawahiri was killed while standing on the balcony of a safe house in Kabul.
It was also noted by the official that the U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” they killed al-Zawahiri in the drone strike, adding that U.S. officials to “every possible precaution” to prevent harm to civilians.
In his speech, Biden revealed that none of al-Zawahiri’s family was hurt “and there were no civilian casualties,” adding that leaning on consultations with the counterterrorism community, partners, and allies, he was able to confirm the mission’s “total success.”
The drone strike killing al-Zawahiri, 71 — Osama bin Laden’s successor and a leader in the September 11 attacks — came months in the making, with Biden giving final authorization on Monday 25.