The U.S. has killed top al-Qaida leader and key 9/11 plotter, Ayman al-Zawahiri
Updated August 1, 2022 at 6:52 PM ET
A senior military official has confirmed with NPR that a drone strike carried out by the U.S. in Kabul, Afghanistan, has killed top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian eye doctor, had served as Osama bin Laden's deputy and took over al-Qaida after the U.S. killed bin Laden in May 2011. But al-Qaida members had complained that he was comparatively uninspiring. The two men fought had together in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Zawahiri helped found Islamic Jihad, the group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Al-Qaida was never able to regain its status as the pre-eminent terrorist organization after bin Laden's death, and faced newer, more brutal, rivals, such as the Islamic State.
This story will be updated.
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