Good Riddance

2 August 2022


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

MCIA Drone Kills Terrorist al-Zawahiri


The world is a bit better off compared to last week because the CIA used a drone to kill the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The agency and the rest of the intelligence community tracked him to an apartment in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. He was under the protection of the Taliban government, and now, the Taliban has publicly failed to protect him. This is going to exacerbate divisions within the Afghan government. It will further cripple Al Qaeda, as there is no single, clear successor. In all, it was a good week-end.

Ayman al-Zawahiri was born in Egypt to a family of accomplished professionals. He joined the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth, studied to be a doctor, and when Anwar Sadat was assassinated, he was one of the many arrested. For three years, he was in an Egyptian prison, where he claimed he had been tortured. Given the nature of the Mubarak regime that held him, one is inclined to believe most of what the bad doctor said in this regard. said, "he founded Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a militant group that merged with al Qaeda in the late 1990s. He had been indicted for his suspected role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya." While Osama bin Laden was the rock star leader of Al Qaeda, Dr. Zawahiri had the jihadist pedigree. Between them, they made a terrorist power couple.

By sheltering him in Kabul, the Taliban created a difficult situation for themselves. So long as the US did not act against him, the Afghan government could pose as his protectors. "The Taliban are in deep political trouble now, and they are going to face pressure to retaliate. The relationship they have with al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups remains very strong," said Asfandyar Mir, an expert on Islamic extremism at the US Institute of Peace in Washington. "I think we should brace for impact."

By the same token, the divisions within the Taliban mean that they should also brace for impact. Faiz Zaland, who teaches governance and political science at Kabul University, said "The Taliban are stuck now, and it\'s their own fault. This is going to undercut the achievements of their first year, and people who care feel betrayed and scared."

A resident of the Sherpur neighborhood, where the drone struck, who gave his name as Hakimullah, told the Washington Post, "We have so many worries already. For a whole year, there have been no jobs, no business, no activity. But at least the fighting was over. The Taliban was in charge, and there was good security. Now, suddenly, this attack happens, and everyone is frightened again."

The long and short of it is that there could well be some unrest in the streets of Kabul. There will be splits widening in the Afghan government. There may be an attempt to hit back at the US, but there are no US troops in the region to hit, so that will probably come to nothing.

Along with bin Laden, al-Zawahiri was responsible for the murders of almost 3,000 people in New York City and more than 100 at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. His death was a long time in coming, but as President Biden said, justice has been served. There is no statute of limitations on mass murder. And the US intelligence community does have an understandable lust for vengeance when it comes to jihadis. So does this journal. His death made the world a better place.

© Copyright 2022 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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