Iowa senator says al-Zawahiri death a ‘moral victory’

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 2:33 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden announced Monday the U.S. killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida. With a drone strike taking out the head of al-Qaida, some lawmakers are saying America is safer today. But the leader’s death in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan prompts questions as to whether the country is once again a safe haven for terrorists after the U.S. removed troops a year ago.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says killing Ayman al-Zawahiri is a moral victory for the country, but exposes problems with President Biden’s Afghanistan exit. Grassley says the president justified leaving Afghanistan by saying the country was no longer a safe haven for al-Qaida.

Upon evacuating, the president pledged over-the-horizon counterterrorism efforts - combating terrorism from afar. The president touts this drone strike as evidence this approach can work. Grassley says it would be easier to fight terrorists in the region with bases closer to their operations.

“I’m glad it happened. I don’t think it’s going to make the al-Qaida any less dangerous to those people in America and other places where they operate. But it’s a real moral victory and hopefully it does slow the al-Qaida up to some extent wherever they’re operating around the world,” said Grassley.

On a call with reporters Monday a senior administration official said the fact that the leader of al-Qaida was in Kabul violated an international agreement with the Taliban. The official said going forward, they will continue to hold the Taliban accountable.

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