The Taliban investigate and deny knowledge of al-Zawahiri’s existence

Yesterday a Taliban official announced that the movement is investigating the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike in Kabul.

US officials said Washington killed al-Zawahiri with a missile launched from a drone while on the balcony of his hideout in Kabul on Sunday, in the biggest blow to the organization since Osama bin Laden was shot dead. firearm more than ten years ago.

“Neither the government nor the leadership were aware of Al-Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan, “Sohail Shaheen, the designated representative of the Taliban to the United Nations based in Doha, told reporters.

“The investigation is now in course to determine the validity of the allegations, “he added, adding that the investigation results will be made public.

For their part, the Taliban leaders remained in most of in silence on the raid and did not confirm the presence or death of al-Zawahiri in Kabul.

Three sources from the movement said senior Taliban leaders had long debated how to respond to the US attack.

The Taliban response could have significant ramifications, in as it seeks international legitimacy and access to billions of dollars in frozen funds.

Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, was closely involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and was one of the most wanted men in the world.

His killing in Kabul raises doubts that he was given a safe haven by the Taliban, which they secured in Washington in a 2020 agreement on the withdrawal of US-led forces that would not host other armed groups.