Zalmay says some Taliban might have helped kill Zawahiri

News Report
Friday, Aug 05, 2022

WASHINGTON: Former US special representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said he would not be surprised that some elements of the Taliban might have helped the US in targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike.

He said that those elements might have tipped the US off in terms of the location. In an interview to international media, Zalmay Khalilzad said that almost 21 years after 9/11, the mastermind of those attacks is dead. A US drone strike killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan. The intelligence community tracked his location to a safe house right in the middle of Kabul.

It’s a house in the Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul, which is upscale, a lot of big houses. Some of them used to be occupied by US-backed warlords — big blast walls, guard towers. Now, of course, the population has flipped. It’s different because the rulers are different.

He said that it’s very likely that some Taliban knew, but that their leadership as a whole knew it. “I’m not sure. But certainly, it looks like the Haqqani Network, which is an important element of the Taliban, did know.”