Families of 9/11 victims are celebrating the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri but say their pursuit of justice is far from over.
President Joe Biden confirmed he had approved a drone strike on the “vicious and determined” killer who had plotted the 9/11 attacks in an address from the White House balcony on Monday night.
The 9/11 Justice group, which represents families of dozens of victims, praised the unrelenting efforts of US agencies which led to al-Zawahiri’s death in a statement provided to The Independent.
“This is a significant step forward and is particularly meaningful to the 9/11 community as we continue our years-long battle for justice and accountability,” 9/11 Justice said.
The grassroots organisation added that Mr Biden’s efforts to declassify Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks was crucial to their efforts. We urge President Biden to continue to stand with the 9/11 community and all those who seek justice by holding Saudi Arabia accountable for the 9/11 attacks.”
Alice Greenwald, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said in a statement they were grateful for the bringing the “criminal mastermind” to justice.
“Today’s news demonstrates how the 9/11 story continues to evolve, even 21 year later, and reinforces the need for us to keep educating younger generations about the continued impact of 9/11 on the world we live in today,” Ms Greenwald said.
“We look forward to working with our counterparts in the government agencies responsible for this strike to ensure the National September 11 Memorial & Museum remains the nation’s authority in telling the story of what happened that day and the effects for years to come.”
Mr Biden said al-Zawahiri, 71, was responsible not just for the deaths on 9/11 but also the 2000 USS Cole bombing, which killed 17 US sailors and the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in the 1990s.
“Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Mr Biden said, adding that no-one else was killed in the strike.
A senior Biden administration official said he US intelligence community had identified members of the al-Qaeda leader’s family, including his wife, daughter and children, at a safe house in Kabul this year.
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