The United States has killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden announced on Monday (local time). The strike to eliminate al-Zawahiri was carried out on Saturday, Biden added, underlining that no family member of the slain terrorist was harmed during the operation.
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Here are 5 things to know about Ayman al-Zawahiri:
(1.) An Egyptian national, Ayman al-Zawahiri was born on June 19, 1951, in Giza in the African nation. In June 2011, he was announced as Al-Qaeda’s ‘2nd General Emir’, following the killing of his predecessor, Osama bin Laden, in a US raid in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in May that year.
(2.) Like bin Laden, who studied business and economics administration, and, according to some reports, also obtained a degree in civil engineering, his successor, too, was highly educated. The 71-year-old was a surgeon and served in the Egyptian Army for three years.
(3.) As a young 30-year-old, al-Zawahiri was among hundreds arrested for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, in October 1981. A member of Muslim Brotherhood at the time, he was allegedly tortured by police in prison.
(4.) In 1998, the Al-Zawahiri founded Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) merged with Al-Qaeda. As a key aide of bin Laden, he had a direct hand or was a key plotter in several attacks against the United States, such as the August 1998 bombings targeting the US embassies in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya), as well as the 9/11 attacks, among others.
(5.) In the wake of 9/11, the US State Department announced a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to capture of al-Zawahiri, who, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), had a whole host of aliases.