Mixed Emotions On A Recent Headline

The Biden administration has announced the killing of top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri over the weekend. That’s a good thing. I have little doubt that al-Zawahiri is dead, I have a lot of doubt as to exactly what the truth is surrounding his death.

The Conservative Review points out a few problems with the announcement:

According to expert terrorism analyst Bill Roggio, the narrative that al-Zawahiri’s death was a counterterrorism success “masks the undeniable truth that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is a safe haven for al-Qaeda.”

That is because, as Roggio explained, al-Zawahiri was “hiding” in plain-sight, i.e., he was not hiding at all.

“Zawahiri was killed in the Sherpur neighborhood, in a home run by a deputy of Sirajuddin Haqqani. Sirajuddin is of course one of two deputy Taliban emirs as well as the interior minister,” Roggio explained. “Zawahiri could not operate in Afghanistan — particularly in Kabul — without the consent of the Taliban. He wasn’t in the remote mountains of Kunar, Nuristan, or Nangarhar, or distant provinces of Ghazni, Helmand, or Kandahar. He was in the Taliban’s capital.”

The Conservative Treehouse is also somewhat skeptical of the narrative:

Everything about the supposed killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri is suspect, weird and fishy.

♦First, Al Zawahiri has been reported as killed or dead at least a half dozen times in the last 10 years; including by natural causes.  ♦Second, Ayman Zawahiri was very old. Western citations put his age at 71 (born 1951), however, that is suspect (sounds like his younger brother’s age).  ♦Third, the location of his reported killing in Kabul is odd.  Zawahiri was known to avoid large populations, and even with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan the tribal conflicts with factions of the Taliban would have been an issue.

♦Fourth, somehow the Taliban waited until after the U.S. intelligence community leaked the strike to the media before they issued a statement condemning the drone attack.  Since when does al-Qaeda wait 48+ hours to denounce hostile action in their territory?   Coordinating and timed joint press releases between the White House and ‘Taliban‘ to western media outlets is seriously sketchy.

♦Fifth, absolutely no official outline from the Pentagon or White House on this “successful counterterrorism strike“?  Despite a primetime presidential address, the White House has no announcement, no official statement, nothing, on their website.  Additionally, Biden leads off saying the attack was on Saturday, the Taliban waited 48-hours to denounce a U.S. drone strike?  Think about it.  Doesn’t add up.  More sketchy.

♦Sixth, and seemingly just an oddball addendum, Fox News breaks the story using Jennifer Griffin as lead reporter.  As I noted several days ago, Griffin had been missing from Fox News since she went bonzo in March attacking Tucker Carlson over his cynicism of the official State Dept and Pentagon narrative in Ukraine.

I am willing to rejoice that a terrorist has departed the earth, but I do wonder if the information we have been given is accurate. It is also disturbing to learn that Afghanistan is once again a safe haven for al-Qaeda.