National Security

Was The Zawahri Hit A Political Stunt?

Some wonder.

Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot

The drone strike on Zawahri was a good thing and those who executed it deserve our thanks. But was it timed primarily as a midterm political stunt? Former CIA and NSC staffer Fred Fleitz asks the question.

Fleitz: President Joe Biden gave a rare primetime address Monday night to announce that the CIA, on his orders, conducted a drone strike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. Zawahri is a longtime radical Islamist leader who succeeded Usama bin Laden as head of al Qaeda in 2011 and masterminded the deadly terrorist attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

This drone strike may validate President Biden’s plan to target terrorists in Afghanistan with “over the horizon” strikes, something many experts questioned. In addition, the administration claims no civilians were killed in the attack. If this is all true, President Biden deserves credit for a major national security win. But I have questions about this strike.

The timing of this attack, coming one year after Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and three months before the November midterm elections, is incredibly coincidental. Moreover, given the tendency of this president and his senior officials to make statements on national security that have proved too implausible or inaccurate and later need to be walked back, I want to see Congress fully investigate this attack.

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For example, why did this strike happen now? With no Western press on the ground, how can the American people be sure exactly what happened? Can we verify the U.S. actually got Zawahri and that there were no civilian casualties?

Another issue is whether killing Zawahri, who was 71 and in ill health, will make any difference in protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks since there were plans to name a successor to Zawahri before he was killed.

A more important question is whether President Biden’s decision to take out Zawahri means his administration will finally recognize radical Islamist terrorist as a high priority national security issue instead of several trivial issues it has stressed in its national security policy such as climate change.

After President Trump’s leadership caused ISIS to suffered massive defeats in Iraq and Syria, loss of its caliphate on the ground, the terrorist organization is making a comeback in the Middle East and has established a major presence in Afghanistan and Africa.

ISIS is the world’s predominant terrorist organization, significantly larger and more influential than its predecessor, al Qaeda. Al Qaeda, however, remains a dangerous organization and is also undergoing a resurgence in Afghanistan and Africa.

History shows that whenever terrorist groups like al Qaeda or ISIS establish strongholds, they will eventually use them as launching pads to spread their insurgency to other areas, often with major acts of terrorism. There is a high probability of this happening again.

Hopefully, President Biden’s decision to take out Ayman al-Zawahri is an indication that he and his senior officials recognize this and that the drone strike that killed him was not done principally to score political points.

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14 days ago

As with Joe’s other “over the horizon” strikes, we’ll probably find out this drone blew up a falafel stand where 20 kids in it. “The things the kids were holding were either pastries, or they might have been grenades and plastic explosives.”

Stephen Weiss
Stephen Weiss
14 days ago

no one is going to shed a tear over zwalari being droned…..but……..11 months ago biden was on national tv saying that our withdrawl from afghanistan, would now prevent al quida, from ever using that counrty for a base again…………but guess what…the number two head guy in al queda…….was just killed in kabul………the in afghanistan..and he wqasliving in the home of one of the taliban’s most trusted principles……so let’s review;

biden lied about al queda being finished in afghanistan didn’t he…and his belief that the taliban is not aproblem is yet another lie.

Michael J Doyle
Michael J Doyle
14 days ago

yes they new where he was for years and bidens sinking poll numbers he had to do something, but where is the confirmation. just like afghanastan before when he wipe out a family stating it was a group of terriorist, just because u blow a house up doesn’t mean you killed anyone. boots on the ground

14 days ago

I don’t believe it happened, Zawahri is being kept in a safe house, in Delaware.

cheryl detar
cheryl detar
13 days ago

Done with this site. Too many ads & NO way to report or hide.