Following the killing of Ayman Al Zawahri on July 31 in Afghanistan, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, John Kirby stated that the dreaded Haqqani network terror outfit was aware of the al-Qaeda chief’s presence in Kabul.
While addressing the journalists at the White House, Kirby stated that there are few numbers of al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan and he believes that Afghanistan will not become a safe haven for terrorists, adding that America is now capable of hitting the most wanted man without having forces on the ground, The Frontier Post reported.
Taliban have agreed in the Doha accord that they will not allow foreign terrorists to use their soil for any kind of terrorist activity, he said.
Kirby further stated that Pakistan was not notified about the planned drone attack that killed Zawahiri.
At the FATF, Pakistan is due to be assessed in October 2022 in Paris. However, when it comes to counter-terrorism, Pakistan made limited progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan, specifically in its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination. Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan while talking to National Public Radio (NPR) said that the US is trying to find out how and why the Haqqanis were aware of Zawahiri, reported The Frontier Post.
Moreover, the US State Department has issued a worldwide alert after the death of Zawahiri.
Zawahiri was one of the world’s most wanted terrorists and a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was killed in a drone strike carried out by the US in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday.
An Egyptian surgeon, Zawahiri was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11 and he also acted as Osama Bin Laden’s personal physician. The strike was conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was carried out by an Air Force drone.
An official claimed that Zawahiri was the only person killed in the strike and that none of his family members were injured.
Meanwhile, the Taliban confirmed the killing of Zawahiri and condemned the drone strike carried out by the United States in Kabul over the weekend.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that a strike took place on a residence in the capital and called it a violation of “international principles,” responding to which the US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the Taliban had grossly violated the Doha Agreement by hosting and sheltering the Al-Qaeda chief.
The US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020 under then US President Donald Trump. The deal called for withdrawal of US troops from Afghan soil and that the Taliban would abate violence and guarantee that its soil will not be a safe haven for terrorists.
Zawahiri’s targeted killing comes a year after the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) added a “deceased” caption under the profile image of Zawahiri on its website.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)