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How did the operation to kill al-Zawahiri unfold?

(CNN Spanish) — Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al Qaeda, He was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday Following the US drone strike, President Joe Biden said in a speech Monday night.

Al-Zawahiri is the successor to Osama bin Laden, who was killed by the US 11 years ago. Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point acted as Bin Laden’s personal physician.

Biden said Saturday’s raid to bring down the al Qaeda leader was the result of “extraordinary diligence and skill” by the intelligence community.

Next, we tell you how the mission to kill al-Zawahiri was achieved.

This is a US move to end Ayman al-Zawahiri

  • The attack was the result of months of secret planning between Biden and his small circle of top advisers.
  • Before attempting to kill al-Zawahiri, Biden wanted to fully understand where the al-Qaeda leader stood.
  • The US president suggested that al-Zawahiri had been discovered by US intelligence earlier this year. Biden was first informed in April of al-Zawahiri’s location in a safe house in Kabul.
  • Biden added that al-Zawahiri “has traveled to Kabul to meet with members of his immediate family.”
  • After al-Zawahiri’s location was discovered, various arrangements were made, including the construction of a small-scale model of the al-Qaeda leader’s safe house, built by intelligence officials and placed in the White House’s Situation Room for Biden to study. Discussed his options.
Ayman-al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man to the leader of al-Qaeda 3:48
  • US officials had been aware of the terrorist leader’s support network in Kabul for months and had identified his wife, daughter and sons through multiple intelligence streams.
  • The women used terrorist “gadgets” designed to prevent anyone from following them to al-Zawahiri’s residence in a Kabul neighborhood. Al-Zawahiri has not left the base since his arrival this year.
  • Months passed, and authorities began recording patterns at the home, such as al-Zawahiri appearing on his balcony for very long periods of time. It is noteworthy that the US killed the leader of Al-Qaeda while he was on his balcony.
  • While activities in the house are being monitored, a top-secret effort has begun to analyze the construction and structure of the building with a view to developing a plan to take down the world’s No. 1 terrorist target.
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Ayman al-Zawahiri: Who was the leader of Al Qaeda killed by the US? 1:53
  • Since one of the most important points is not to cause civilian casualties, including members of Al-Zawahiri’s family, the analysis should include how to conduct an attack without compromising the structure of the house. The US government said on Saturday that there were no civilian casualties in a US drone strike during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan 11 months ago.
  • In May and June, Biden knew the preparations. Then, on July 1, he convened key national security officials in the White House Situation Room and briefed them on the proposed move.
  • The officers in the room were 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.
  • It was then that officials explained the entire plan to Biden with the help of Scale House.
  • The team met several times in the situation room over the next several weeks to finalize their planning, answer the president’s questions and make sure they took all the contingencies to minimize risks.
  • During this time, they worked with lawyers to establish the legal basis for the action.
What did Biden say about Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death? 6:43
  • On July 25, while in White House quarantine with Covid-19, Biden reconvened his team for a final briefing.
  • As on previous occasions, the President inquired about the structural details of the house and everything related to avoiding civilian casualties.
  • That day, Biden authorized a “precise, well-designed air strike” to finish off the target, which was carried out five days later.
  • On Saturday, July 30, two Hellfire missiles were fired at the balcony of a safe house in Kabul at 6:18 a.m. local time.
  • “Multiple streams of intelligence” confirmed al-Zawahiri was dead.
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With information from Natasha Bertrand, Kevin Lipdock, Kylie Atwood, Larry Register and Hamdi Alkhshali.