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Ayman al-Zawahiri death: US issues picture of Biden briefing as global leaders say world now safer – live | US politics


White House issues image of Biden being briefed ahead of strike on Zawahiri

The White House has issued an image of President Joe Biden being briefed about the drone strike that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In a tweet describing the image, the White House said:

On 1 July, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Zawahiri was hiding.

On July 1, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Al-Zawahiri was hiding. pic.twitter.com/W0A0mDk9Lr

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1554430814586380289″,”id”:”1554430814586380289″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”3c439401-9da0-4efb-8626-e3baa02b8983″}}”>

On July 1, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Al-Zawahiri was hiding. pic.twitter.com/W0A0mDk9Lr

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2022

With US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said to be on her way to the island, Reuters reports a cyber attack from abroad hit the website of the Taiwanese presidency on Tuesday, leading to it briefly “malfunctioning”.

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Though a source said the website has since been brought back online, as of the time of this post, its English-language page still appears to be down.

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Reuters also reports that a US air force plane which could be carrying Pelosi to Taipei left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier in the day and headed east before turning north towards the Philippines – a route that avoids South China Sea, where China has sought to press a number of contentious territorial claims.

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The White House has issued an image of President Joe Biden being briefed about the drone strike that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

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In a tweet describing the image, the White House said:

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On 1 July, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Zawahiri was hiding.

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The official social media accounts of the prime minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, are carrying the following statement:

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The world is a safer place today. I congratulate President Joe Biden and all who took part in the successful American operation targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri. Terrorist groups and their sponsors must know: You’re living on borrowed time. The forces of freedom will bring you to justice.

n

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Here is an excerpt from Jason Burke’s analysis for the Guardian of whether the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri will weaken al-Qaida:

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Whoever takes over, his strategic decisions will be important. Though al-Qaida was known for its innovative empowerment of local cells, the man at the top of the hierarchy has real authority. An oath of loyalty is sworn not to the group, but to the individual.

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When Zawahiri became leader after Bin Laden’s death in a US special forces raid in Pakistan in 2011, he turned al-Qaida away from spectacular long-range attacks, believing they were counterproductive.

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Instead, links with groups around the world were reinforced and efforts made to expand through gradually winning support from communities on the ground. This did not always bring success, and al-Qaida suffered significant setbacks in Iraq and Syria during the 11 years Zawahiri was in charge.

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The rise of a rival, Islamic State, which swept through these two countries and set up a new “caliphate”, led to a loss of profile and influence in a key region as well as competition elsewhere. The limited achievements of its affiliate in Yemen, once seen as a major potential threat to the region and the west, must have been a disappointment.

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What will be the strategy of the new leader? Whoever takes over has multiple options – but no easy ones. He has to stay alive, communicate despite considerable logistic challenges, deal with regimes such as the Taliban and formulate a clear idea of what his subordinates should be doing.

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You can read more of Jason Burke’s analysis here: Zawahiri’s killing unlikely to weaken al-Qaida significantly

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A US drone strike in Afghanistan has killed the top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Joe Biden announced late on Monday.

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The US president described the death of Zawahiri, one of the world’s most wanted men who was Osama bin Laden’s deputy and successor, as a major blow to the terrorist network behind the September 11 2001 attacks.

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“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a live televised address from the White House. “People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer.”

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Zawahiri and his family had moved into a safe house in downtown Kabul, the capital, according to White House officials. He was spotted on a balcony on numerous occasions over several months and continued to produce al-Qaida propaganda videos, some of which may yet appear posthumously.

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Good morning live blog readers. Oliver Holmes here, updating you on the fallout after the announcement.

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Key events

Earlier in the day, the White House put out a photo of president Joe Biden during a meeting where he discussed killing Ayman al-Zawahiri. In front of him was a mysterious, closed box. What was in it?

According to CNN, it was a model of the house that al-Zawahiri had been tracked to:

Officials confirm that the box with the lock in this photo in fact contained the small-scale model of the safe house that Zawahiri was hiding in, which was used during Biden’s deliberations ahead of the strike > https://t.co/WrSFioK7WT

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/mj_lee/status/1554455010079039489″,”id”:”1554455010079039489″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”8f5ac0a3-c739-4d60-8c3c-79d5090de223″}}”>

Officials confirm that the box with the lock in this photo in fact contained the small-scale model of the safe house that Zawahiri was hiding in, which was used during Biden’s deliberations ahead of the strike > https://t.co/WrSFioK7WT

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) August 2, 2022

Here’s a video recap of what we know about the killing al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan:

Smoke rises above Kabul after US strike that killed al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahiri – video report

The US drone strike that killed al-Zawahiri was cheered by someone who knows a bit about hunting al-Qaida leaders: Barack Obama.

The former American president who approved the 2011 special forces raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden tweeted in approval of the bombing that killed al-Zawahiri, which was carried out on the orders of Joe Biden, who served as his vice president:

More than 20 years after 9/11, one of the masterminds of that terrorist attack and Osama bin Laden’s successor as the leader of al-Qaeda – Ayman al-Zawahiri – has finally been brought to justice.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1554287293606895617?s=20&t=riqVuFW2cP0ZHzlAyJjAcg”,”id”:”1554287293606895617″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”325ba0a7-01b2-47ce-ba36-12026a6bf6e8″}}”>

More than 20 years after 9/11, one of the masterminds of that terrorist attack and Osama bin Laden’s successor as the leader of al-Qaeda – Ayman al-Zawahiri – has finally been brought to justice.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

It’s a tribute to President Biden’s leadership, to the members of the intelligence community who have been working for decades for this moment, and to the counterterrorism professionals who were able to take al-Zawahiri out without a single civilian casualty.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1554287295037145089?s=20&t=riqVuFW2cP0ZHzlAyJjAcg”,”id”:”1554287295037145089″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”45bf20d5-15be-4a52-8e48-960fa4c7b0d9″}}”>

It’s a tribute to President Biden’s leadership, to the members of the intelligence community who have been working for decades for this moment, and to the counterterrorism professionals who were able to take al-Zawahiri out without a single civilian casualty.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

Tonight’s news is also proof that it’s possible to root out terrorism without being at war in Afghanistan. And I hope it provides a small measure of peace to the 9/11 families and everyone else who has suffered at the hands of al-Qaeda.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1554287296765169672?s=20&t=riqVuFW2cP0ZHzlAyJjAcg”,”id”:”1554287296765169672″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”0cf62554-befc-4382-9348-cd486b0cf38e”}}”>

Tonight’s news is also proof that it’s possible to root out terrorism without being at war in Afghanistan. And I hope it provides a small measure of peace to the 9/11 families and everyone else who has suffered at the hands of al-Qaeda.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 2, 2022

In an appearance on CNN, the White House’s national security spokesman John Kirby said the United States has confirmed al-Zawahiri’s death visually, but doesn’t have access to his DNA.

“We have visual confirmation, but we also have confirmation through other sources,” Kirby said in the interview, according to Reuters. “We do not have DNA confirmation. We’re not going to get that confirmation. Quite frankly, based on based on multiple sources and methods that we’ve gathered information from, we don’t need it”.

Congressional lawmakers go on lots of trips, but few attract the attention of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

A sign of that: the US air force jet thought to be carrying her to Taipei is the most popular plane being watched on flight tracking website Flightradar 24. Follow along here.

Foreign cyber attack takes out Taiwan government website

With US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said to be on her way to the island, Reuters reports a cyber attack from abroad hit the website of the Taiwanese presidency on Tuesday, leading to it briefly “malfunctioning”.

Though a source said the website has since been brought back online, as of the time of this post, its English-language page still appears to be down.

Reuters also reports that a US air force plane which could be carrying Pelosi to Taipei left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier in the day and headed east before turning north towards the Philippines – a route that avoids South China Sea, where China has sought to press a number of contentious territorial claims.

Nearly a year after the US military’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri’s killing raises questions about the involvement of Taliban leaders in sheltering a mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks and one of America’s most-wanted fugitives, Rahim Faiez and Munir Ahmed write for the Associated Press.

The Taliban initially sought to describe the strike as America violating the Doha deal, which also includes a Taliban pledge not to shelter those seeking to attack the United States — something al-Zawahiri had done for years in internet videos and online screeds. The Taliban have yet to say who was killed in the strike.

“The killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri has raised many questions,” said one Pakistani intelligence official, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. “The Taliban were aware of his presence in Kabul, and if they were not aware of it, they need to explain their position.”

The house where Zawahiri stayed was the home of a top aide to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, according to a senior US intelligence official. The AP says that Taliban officials blocked their journalists in Kabul from reaching the damaged house on Tuesday.

White House issues image of Biden being briefed ahead of strike on Zawahiri

The White House has issued an image of President Joe Biden being briefed about the drone strike that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In a tweet describing the image, the White House said:

On 1 July, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Zawahiri was hiding.

On July 1, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Al-Zawahiri was hiding. pic.twitter.com/W0A0mDk9Lr

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1554430814586380289″,”id”:”1554430814586380289″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”df999e7e-731d-42e5-bcbf-7a3d03743fa2″}}”>

On July 1, President Biden meets with his national security team to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahiri. At this meeting, the President was briefed on the proposed operation and shown a model of the safe house where Al-Zawahiri was hiding. pic.twitter.com/W0A0mDk9Lr

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2022

Israel’s prime minister says ‘world a safer place’ after al-Zawahiri death

The official social media accounts of the prime minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, are carrying the following statement:

The world is a safer place today. I congratulate President Joe Biden and all who took part in the successful American operation targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri. Terrorist groups and their sponsors must know: You’re living on borrowed time. The forces of freedom will bring you to justice.

PM Lapid:
The world is a safer place today.
I congratulate @POTUS and all who took part in the successful American operation targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Terrorist groups & their sponsors must know: You're living on borrowed time. The forces of freedom will bring you to justice

— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/IsraeliPM/status/1554423023222112256″,”id”:”1554423023222112256″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”26217fab-6771-4bde-ad60-51c9809ba1b1″}}”>

PM Lapid:
The world is a safer place today.
I congratulate @POTUS and all who took part in the successful American operation targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Terrorist groups & their sponsors must know: You’re living on borrowed time. The forces of freedom will bring you to justice

— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) August 2, 2022

Salamn Masood, Pakistan correspondent for the New York Times, has tweeted that it is his understanding the US did not ask for cooperation from Pakistan on the attack on Ayman al-Zawahiri, nor did the US use Pakistan’s airspace to launch the strike.

Breaking — Senior Pakistani security officials say Americans did not ask for and neither did they require intel cooperation in the drone strike that killed Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Officials also say Pakistani airspace was not used for the drone flight.

— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) August 2, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/salmanmasood/status/1554419741804023809″,”id”:”1554419741804023809″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”7b7654dc-95e6-4c81-ae31-56830e3e460e”}}”>

Breaking — Senior Pakistani security officials say Americans did not ask for and neither did they require intel cooperation in the drone strike that killed Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Officials also say Pakistani airspace was not used for the drone flight.

— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) August 2, 2022

Amy Cheng of the Washington Post has gathered some of the bipartisan support that has followed the announcement of the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri. She writes:

Senate majority leader, Charles Schumer, called the mission “a major accomplishment” for Biden that brought justice to one of the people “who helped orchestrate the cold-blooded murder of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers on 9/11”.

Senator minority leader, Mitch McConnell, similarly credited Biden for approving the drone operation, saying “the world is a better, safer place” without Zawahiri. But McConnell urged the administration to come up with a comprehensive security plan in Afghanistan in light of the fact that Zawahiri appeared to have been living in central Kabul.

Rep Ilhan Omar, one of first two Muslim women elected to Congress, wrote on social media that Zawahiri was “a monster responsible for the deaths of thousands around the world”.

Away from the death of al-Zawahiri, US president, Joe Biden, will name top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as White House coordinators to combat the monkeypox outbreak.

Associated Press reports that, later today, Biden will announce Robert Fenton, who helped lead Fema’s mass Covid-19 vaccination effort, as the White House coordinator. Dr Demetre Daskalakis of the CDC will be named his deputy. Daskalakis, director of the agency’s HIV prevention division and a national expert on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, previously helped lead New York City’s Covid-19 response.

The White House said the pair would coordinate “strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments”.




www.theguardian.com

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