Two intelligence sources tell Fox News Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri was killed in the CIA drone strike.
“Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan,” the senior administration official told Fox News Monday. “The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”
The United States has killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda and one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, who oversaw the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, alongside the group’s founder, Osama bin Laden, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Both men escaped U.S. forces in Afghanistan in late 2001, and Zawahiri’s whereabouts had long been a mystery. Bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan in 2011.
The Associated Press first reported that Zawahiri was killed.
It was not immediately clear where and when Zawahiri died and what element of the U.S. government had carried out the mission. The White House said on Thursday that President Biden would give remarks in the evening about “a successful counterterrorism operation,” but did not mention Zawahiri.
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U.S. House Votes to Permanently Freeze $6 Billion Iranian Funds Amid Hostage Exchange Controversy
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation to permanently freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds that were initially slated for release by the Biden administration as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran earlier this year. The measure passed in a 307-119 vote, with the majority of Republicans supporting it, according to The Hill. Notably, Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie was the sole Republican dissenting voice, aligning with 118 Democrats.
The frozen funds, originally held in South Korea, were part of a deal where Seoul committed to paying Iran for oil before the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2019. Subsequently, these funds were transferred to Qatar as part of the exchange. However, in the aftermath of an Oct. 7 Hamas raid on Israel, where more than 200 hostages were seized and around 1,200 civilians were killed, both Qatar and the U.S. agreed to refreeze the funds.
The decision to permanently freeze the funds reflects the growing controversy surrounding the hostage exchange and the broader implications of releasing substantial financial resources to Iran. Tehran’s support for Hamas and its proxies’ heightened hostilities in the Middle East have contributed to the contentious nature of this issue.
As the legislation progresses, it further underscores the complex dynamics in the region and the United States’ response to Iran’s involvement in activities that destabilize the Middle East. The vote outcome signals a bipartisan stance on this matter, with implications for U.S.-Iran relations and the ongoing challenges of navigating geopolitical complexities.
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