Skip to content
US kills al-Qaida leader and key 9/11 plotter Ayman al-Zawahiri : NPR


A screenshot from a 2006 video broadcast on Al-Jazeera television shows al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

AFP/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

AFP/AFP via Getty Images

US kills al-Qaida leader and key 9/11 plotter Ayman al-Zawahiri : NPR

A screenshot from a 2006 video broadcast on Al-Jazeera television shows al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

AFP/AFP via Getty Images

A senior military official confirmed to NPR that a US-led strike killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian ophthalmologist, had been Osama bin Laden’s deputy and took control of al-Qaeda after the United States killed bin Laden in May 2011. But al-Qaeda members complained that he was relatively uninspiring. The two men had fought together in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Zawahiri helped found Islamic Jihad, the group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Al-Qaeda was never able to regain its status as a preeminent terrorist organization after bin Laden’s death, and has faces new, more brutal rivals, such as the Islamic State.

This story will be updated.

NPR News

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.