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America’s killing of Ayman Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda and the number two to Osama bin Laden during the 9/11 attacks, is yet another important blow to a pioneer of Islamist terrorism, a victory for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and a political win for President Joe Biden.
Whatever their politics, most Americans will welcome the death of the Egyptian-born physician who was a key architect of the 2001 attack that killed 2,977 people on American soil and helped transform militant Islamism from a movement seeking to overthrow repressive Middle Eastern regimes into one waging a global war on the U.S. and the West. “Justice has been delivered,” President Biden said on a White House balcony, announcing the successful strike. “This terrorist leader is no more.”
It is also evidence of America’s determination to continue targeting terrorist leaders. Just as Israel spent decades tracking down and killing the Palestinians who slaughtered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the U.S. has systematically hunted and killed leading perpetrators of Islamist terror against Americans. President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, and President Trump the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder