Monitoring Desk: “The Taliban appear to have been caught off-guard. Initially, they denied the drone strike and referred to a “rocket” that had hit “a vacant house,” before finally acknowledging that an “air strike” had been carried out by “US drones” but disputing the claim that Zawahiri was targeted. They had to reach out to their Emir in Kandahar for guidance on a formal reaction”.
This was observed in a special report titled “How US traced and eliminated al Qaeda chief” published by the Express Tribune. The author of report Naveed Hussain is an international acclaimed journalist. He spoke with several foreign and national analysts to find out how the US might have found and killed Aymen Al Zawahiri.
The report indicates that the Taliban’s deniability is understandable given that the al Qaeda chief’s presence in the heart of Kabul refutes their repeated assurances to the international community that they won’t harbour jihadist groups on Afghan soil.
It may be mentioned that Osama Bin Laden’s successor Aymen Al Zawahiri was assassinated in “an over-the-horizon operation” involving a “secret weapon” by the United States in downtown Kabul on July 31 – more than 11 years after the group’s founding chief was killed in a US Navy SEALs operation in Abbottabad.