On Monday, US President Joe Biden announced that the CIA killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Kabul, Afghanistan at the weekend, however, is al-Qaeda still relevant now in 2022?
ON MONDAY, US President Joe Biden announced that the CIA killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Kabul, Afghanistan at the weekend, however, is al-Qaeda still relevant now in 2022?
The organisation was formed in the 1980s as a multinational militant network founded by Osama bin Laden along with Arab volunteers who fought during the Soviet-Afghan War.
Al-Qaeda was seen as the number one security threat in the West with a series of attacks with the most notable one being the 2001 September 11 (9/11) attack when representatives hijacked US airliners mid-flight and crashed them into the Yew York World Trade Centre buildings.
According to the BBC, around 3,000 people died that day, which went down as the worst terrorist attack ever on mainland America.
Reports suggest the 9/11 attacks were plotted in the hills of Afghanistan which led to the controversial US-led “war on terror” and subsequently a 20-year occupation in Afghanistan.
Nearly a decade after the attack, the US tracked down and killed al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Fast forward another 10 years, US officials managed to track down Bin Laden’s replacement al-Zawahiri, whom they killed using a drone strike.
Historically al-Qaeda was a tight-knit network but reports suggest it has now become a global franchise with followers at various parts of the world in poorly governed regions.
Somalia’s al-Shabaab have been linked al-Qaeda militants who have been fighting for years to topple the central government. Meanwhile, the group also maintains a significant presence in north-west Syria.
Now, will the assassination of al-Zawahiri have an impact on the group, or is it business as usual?
According to research by Al Jazeera, the organisation has put the necessary tools in place for an instance like this, so as to ensure al-Qaeda survives al-Zawahiri’s death.
While the drone attack may have been a win for the US, meanwhile, al-Zawahiri will be easily replaced by another with a managerial mindset and likely more charismatic.