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Drone killed al-Qaeda leader on the balcony of his apartment: US operation details – Ukraine News, Politics

The U.S. drone strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 20 was the result of careful secret planning by the U.S. president. Joe Biden and a narrow circle of his senior advisers. The details were told by a senior Biden administration official. CNN.

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In April, Biden was first informed that US intelligence had spotted Zawahiri at a safe house in Kabul.

By that time, US intelligence agencies had been aware of the network supporting the terrorist leader in the Afghan capital for several months and had identified his wife, daughter and her children.

The women used terrorist “tricks” to prevent anyone from following them to Zawahiri’s location. The terrorist himself did not leave this place after his arrival.

A few months later, the US intelligence service established patterns of what was happening in the house – in particular, Zawahiri periodically went out to the balcony for a long time.

Under strict secrecy, the Americans analyzed the structural features of the building in order to develop an operation to destroy Zawahiri without compromising the structural integrity of the building.

The most important thing for Biden and members of his team was to avoid the death of civilians, including members of the Zawahiri family, who lived in this building.

The building is located in the center of Kabul and is surrounded by a residential area – this created its own problems.

A very small and select group of people in key US security agencies knew about the preparations for the operation.

On July 1, Biden gathered the leaders of the operation at the White House. CIA Director Bill Burns, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his deputy John Finer, and National Security Adviser Liz Sherwood Randall were present.

Intelligence officials built and brought to the White House for the president’s inspection a scale model of the Zawahiri house.

Biden was particularly focused on making sure the operation minimized the risk of civilian casualties, the official said.

Biden asked his team for more information about the building’s plans and how it could be affected by the strike.

His team met several more times at the White House over the following weeks to finalize planning, answer questions from the president, and make sure they took all contingencies to minimize risks.

In parallel, senior administration lawyers were making efforts to study intelligence related to Zawahiri and establish a legal basis for the operation.

On July 25, Biden again brought his team together for a final briefing. He asked the opinion of every official and authorized the targeted strike.

Five days later, two Hellfire rockets were fired at the balcony of a safe house in Kabul.

Zawahiri was killed, his family members, who were in other rooms of the house, were not injured.

Read also: “Justice done.” Biden confirms the elimination of the leader of al-Qaeda

Natalia Medvedeva

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