Tri-state reacts after al Qaeda leader killed in drone strike

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022
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Derick Waller reports from the 9-11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Reaction is pouring in after word that Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's leader and a member of the FBI's Most Wanted list, was killed in a precision U.S. airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Al Zawahiri took over for Osama Bin Laden after U.S. forces killed him 10 years ago.

President Biden authorized a drone strike over the weekend using a highly precise Hellfire missile to kill al Zawahiri as he stepped onto the balcony of the home where he has reportedly been hiding for 20 years.

The CIA learned of his whereabouts in April, setting the stage for the strike.

"The United States did not seek this war against terror, it came to us," said President Biden at the White House Monday night. "And we answered with the same principles and resolve that have shaped us for generation upon generation."

A senior administration official called it a successful counterterrorism operation with no civilian casualties.

Responding to word that Bin Laden's right hand man is now dead, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul released this statement:

"Thanks to the work of our military and intelligence community & President Biden's leadership, the United States has brought the architect of the September 11 terrorist attacks to justice. We will never forget that horrific day. But New York - and America - will always come back stronger."

2753 people died at Ground Zero, including 343 FDNY personnel.

The head of the FDNY firefighters' union issued a statement saying, "This action by the United States is a reminder to each and every terrorist involved in the plotting of these attacks that the American people will never forget."

But some 9/11 victims' families say the strike isn't enough to punish those responsible.

A week after former President Trump hosted a Saudi-backed golf tournament in Bedminster, New Jersey, and two weeks after President Biden fist-bumped the Saudi crown prince, a spokesman for the 9/11 families is demanding more, saying this in a statement:

"The financiers are not being targeted by drones, they are being met with fist pumps and hosted at golf clubs. If we're going to be serious about accountability, we must hold EVERYONE accountable."

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