U.S. State Department Issues Worldwide Caution Warning for Possible Retaliation for al-Zawahiri Killing

The United States Department of State on Tuesday (DOS) issued a worldwide caution warning for possible retaliation for al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death.

The DOS published a Worldwide Caution update claiming that “There is a higher potential for anti-American violence given the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31, 2022.”

The White House confirmed on Monday that Zawahiri, 71, was assassinated on Sunday in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, when he came out onto his balcony and a drone launched Hellfire missiles at his home.

According to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, the operation required several months of intelligence effort to track his family to Kabul and identify the target.

After Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s founder, was assassinated by American forces in Pakistan in 2011, Zawahiri, an Egyptian national, assumed command of the terrorist group.

According to the DOS, terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda are still preparing terrorist acts against American nationals in different parts of the world.  

“These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings,” wrote the DOS.

US President Joe Biden claimed that the strike demonstrated the US’s commitment to preventing Afghanistan from once more becoming a refuge for terrorist organizations.

Biden referred to Zawahiri as the “mastermind” of numerous operations against Americans, including the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

Biden also noted that his administration “Will continue to vigilantly monitor and address threats from al Qaeda, no matter where they emanate from.”

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