Eleven years after Osama bin Laden was killed, the United States has announced that it has killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man who was supposed to take over as the head of al-Qaeda if bin Laden were to die. The attempts that the Taliban rule has been making to acquire legitimacy in other nations are going to suffer as a direct consequence of Zawahiri’s death in Kabul. Even more concerning is the fact that, in spite of the accords reached in Doha, it continues to serve as a safe haven for Al Qaeda.
Since the brazen attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, terrorists may have lost ground, but they continue to be a source of worry due to their spooky presence and offshoots in other countries, as well as their relentless recruiting attempts among younger people.
It will be interesting to see who the group chooses to turn to for leadership at this point. It is rather ironic that Zawahiri was killed at exactly the same time that the Biden administration is struggling to deal with sluggish economic development and skyrocketing prices in the United States. Additionally, it will assist the United States in regaining some of its international reputation after the botched pullout from Afghanistan that occurred the previous year.
The divided and unstable leadership of the Taliban will now be the primary focus of attention. The United States of America could only have located Zawahiri after twenty years by exploiting a conflict that existed inside him.
Why should anybody be surprised that the Taliban government cannot be trusted when it declares that it would not be providing safe haven to terrorist groups? If the Taliban keep up their bloody campaign, it does not bode well for any country that is struggling against religious intolerance, including India.