U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today released the following statement on the death of al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri:
“Al-Zawahiri was one of the key plotters of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and he succeeded Osama bin Laden as the leader of al Qaeda for the past 11 years. He shares responsibility for the deaths of thousands of American citizens and has been a top target for the United States for decades,” said Thune. “This successful drone strike is a testament to the vigilance of the men and women who worked to identify and track this priority terrorist target and help deliver swift justice. It should also be a reminder of the global reach of the U.S. Intelligence Community and our entire national security apparatus.
“This mission is proof positive that the United States maintains a credible over-the-horizon strike capability that should put all terrorists on alert,” continued Thune. “The fact that al-Zawahiri had comfortably made a home in Kabul, a city which was chaotically abandoned under this administration roughly one year ago despite all the dire warnings against doing so, also shatters any pretense that the Taliban would actually deny al Qaeda or other terrorists a safe haven in Afghanistan. This strike underscores the importance of our efforts to thwart resurgent terrorism around the world in order to keep Americans safe at home and abroad.”