Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Taliban says it has not found body of al Qaeda terrorist hit by US drone strike in Kabul

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The Taliban says it has not been able to find the body of al Qaeda terrorist leader Ayman al Zawahiri after a U.S. air strike hit the home he was staying at in Afghanistan.

The U.S. said it killed al Zawahiri with a drone strike in the Afghan capital of Kabul in July. The al Qaeda leader was standing on the balcony of a home owned by an aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, top deputy of the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatallah Akhundzada. He had reportedly been in the house for months at the time of the strike.

The Taliban continues to deny knowledge that al Zawahiri was sheltering in the city.

Taliban leaders initially condemned the strike as an infringement of the Doha Agreement between the Islamic terrorist organization and the U.S. The agreement stipulates that the Taliban would not allow al Qaeda or other terror groups to shelter in Afghanistan, however.

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The fact that Ayman Al Zawahri was living openly in Kabul is a sign that al Qaeda is on the rise.

The fact that Ayman Al Zawahri was living openly in Kabul is a sign that al Qaeda is on the rise.
(Maher Attar/Sygma via Getty Images)

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the group is continuing its investigation into the airstrike.

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The investigation comes as the U.S. continues to negotiate with the Taliban about the release of billions in frozen assets. The U.S. and other governments froze funds belonging to the now-defunct government of Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in 2021.

President Biden is shown here on July 1 during a meeting "to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahri," the White House says.

President Biden is shown here on July 1 during a meeting “to discuss the counterterrorism operation to take out Ayman al-Zawahri,” the White House says.
(White House)

The U.S. is seeking to return those funds, but under the stipulation that a Swiss hedge fund control their distribution to Afghanistan, not the Taliban.

Nonprofits warned earlier this year that much of the U.S. aid to Afghanistan was going directly to the Taliban.

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Al Zawahiri was the highest level al Qaeda member to be killed by U.S. forces since Usama bin Laden in 2010.



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