This article was updated at 3:51 A.M. Israel time.

The United States has killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden and orchestrated the September 11 attacks along with him.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Monday in a televised speech that the top terrorist was targeted in an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, on Saturday.

The president highlighted that the operation was successful and without any civilian casualties.

“For decades he was the mastermind behind attacks against Americans,” Biden said.

“Since the United States delivered justice to Osama bin Laden 11 years ago, al-Zawahiri has been the leader of Al Qaeda,” he continued. “We make it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”

Biden said that he authorized the strike to remove al-Zawahiri “once and for all” after carefully “considering the clear and convincing evidence of his location.” The president noted that his administration kept congressional leaders informed about the operations.

Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri (71) took over the leadership of the terrorist organization following the assassination of bin Laden in 2011. The U.S. State Department offered a $25 million reward for information or intelligence leading to his capture.

The operation against al-Zawahiri comes about a year after the U.S. pulled its forces out of Afghanistan in a highly criticized manner, leaving nearly $7 billion of military equipment behind.

When Biden officially announced the withdrawal in a speech in July 2021, he said that the U.S. went to Afghanistan “to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States.”

The president emphasized that U.S. “military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan,” thanks to “counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability.”

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