Nfter the killing of al-Qaeda leader Aiman al-Zawahiri by a US drone strike, the US State Department has called on Americans around the world to be more vigilant before attacks. “Following the death of al-Zawahiri, supporters of al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations may attempt to target American facilities, personnel or citizens,” the ministry said in an updated alert released Tuesday night.
We remain concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against US citizens and interests abroad. After the death of the leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, there is “a higher potential for anti-American violence”.
The United States said it killed Al-Zawahiri last weekend with a targeted drone attack in the Afghan capital Kabul. The 71-year-old was the successor to Osama bin Laden, the head of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States. After bin Laden was killed by a US special forces unit in Pakistan in 2011, al-Zawahiri rose to the top of the terrorist group.
Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban condemned the attack without naming Al-Zawahiri or mentioning his killing. This is a clear violation of “international principles and the Doha Agreement”. In Doha, the Taliban and the US agreed to withdraw all international troops from Afghanistan in 2020. In return, the Taliban agreed not to offer terrorist groups a safe haven. However, according to US information, members of the current Taliban leadership knew that the al-Qaeda boss was in Kabul.
The United States therefore accused the Taliban of violating the Doha Agreement. “It was made very clear to them through various channels that this was a violation,” said National Security Council communications director John Kirby. The Taliban had pledged that no attacks would be launched against the United States from Afghanistan. From Kabul, Al-Zawahiri “actively encouraged” his followers to plan and carry out attacks against US interests. His killing is therefore also a message to the Taliban.