Alaska senator calls out Taliban after al-Zawahiri killing

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:20 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden announced Monday the U.S. killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida. With a drone strike taking out the head of al-Qaida, some lawmakers are saying America is safer today. But the leader’s death in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan prompts questions as to whether the country is once again a safe haven for terrorists after the U.S. removed troops a year ago.

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) says it is important that Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s second in command during the September 11 attacks, is dead. Last year, after U.S. forces left Afghanistan, President Biden pledged over-the-horizon counterterrorism efforts - combating terrorism from afar.

The president touts this drone strike as evidence this approach can work. Sullivan says he was initially skeptical of the approach. He also says killing al-Zawahiri in Kabul makes it clear the Taliban cannot be trusted.

“The Taliban pledged they were not going to be coordinating, cooperating with, or providing safe haven for al-Qaida. Obviously that was a lie,” said Sullivan.

On a call with reporters Monday a senior administration official said the fact that the leader of al-Qaida was in Kabul violated an international agreement with the Taliban. The official said going forward, they will continue to hold the Taliban accountable.

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