ayman al zawahiri
Embarrassing Reason Trump Didn't Go After Al Qaeda Leader When He Had The Chance Resurfaces After Biden Takes Him Out
As we all know by now, Democratic President Joe Biden lives in Donald Trump's head rent-free.
But since news broke about Biden's successful mission to take out Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the former Republican President has been unexpectedly silent. You'd expect Trump to somehow make it about him, right?
Perhaps it's because Trump had the opportunity to take out one of the world's most dangerous international terrorists himself, but chose not to because...wait for it...
*...he didn't recognize his name.*
Fame is everything with that guy.
First reported in 2020, this factoid about Trump's presidency has resurfaced now that President Biden has taken al-Zawahiri out. Oh, and there's the whole matter of Trump deciding to take out Hamza bin Laden instead because he was a household name.
Yeah, that tracks.
\u201cPrevious POTUS continues to deliver far more entertainment value. https://t.co/JRogXgOBMa\u201d— Jameson Lopp (@Jameson Lopp) 1659482829
Al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike last weekend in Kabul, Afghanistan, the biggest blow to Al Qaeda since Osama bin Laden's assassination by Navy SEALs in 2011 during the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama.
Al-Zawahiri helped bin Laden plan the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, DC, leading to the death of nearly 3,000 people. You'd think you'd want to take that guy out if you can, right?
But when presented with multiple intelligence briefings about the CIA's most important targets, a list al-Zawahiri was at the top of, Trump declined to authorize missions to take him out because he didn't know who he was.
As a former Trump official told NBC News:
"He would say, 'I've never heard of any of these people. What about Hamza bin Laden?'"
Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's son, was a dangerous terrorist, but he was not believed to be involved in any active terrorist plots at the time and from the sounds of it wasn't even #2 or #3 on the CIA's list of priorities.
As former CIA official Douglas London put it:
"Despite intelligence assessments showing the greater dangers posed by Zawahiri, as well as his Iran-based lieutenants al-Masri and Saif al-Adil, and the unlikelihood Hamza was in the immediate line of succession, the president thought differently."
Speaking to NBC, another anonymous official was a bit more direct about why Trump had Hamza bin Laden taken out instead.
"That was the only name he knew."
A very cool approach to national security. No notes!
Trump has a history of being soft on terrorists and downright cozy with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, who have long been suspected of having connections to the bin Laden family and having been involved in the plotting of 9/11.
Trump was participating in a Saudi-funded golf tournament at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course at the exact moment al-Zawahiri was taken out, in fact.
Given all of that, people on Twitter had plenty to say about Trump's approach to counter-terrorism back in the day.
\u201cBasically, Trump wasn't interested in killing al-Zawahiri because it wouldn't get ratings. https://t.co/R0t17Ey7Ko\u201d— Clay Jones (@Clay Jones) 1659488138
\u201cWhile Donald Trump hosts an event with the Saudis and spreads 9/11 conspiracy theories, President Biden just killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the world's most-wanted terrorists who oversaw the September 11th attacks alongside Osama bin Laden.\u201d— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) 1659390447
\u201cObama caught Osama Bin Laden.\n\nBiden caught Osama\u2019s second in command, Al-Zawahiri.\n\nTrump released 5000 members of the Taliban.\u201d— \ud835\udc01\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc24\ud835\udc2c (@\ud835\udc01\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc24\ud835\udc2c) 1659391898
\u201cPresident Obama killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. \n\nPresident Biden killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden\u2019s replacement. \n\nDonald Trump invited the Taliban to hang out at Camp David on 9/11, freed 5,000 of their elite fighters from prison, and tried to kill Mike Pence.\u201d— Andrea Junker (@Andrea Junker) 1659450624
\u201cIt remains hard to believe this moronic monster had four years in the Oval Office. https://t.co/jLAFfwODBM\u201d— Barbara Malmet (@Barbara Malmet) 1659464054
\u201cThis is NOT satire.....\nhttps://t.co/OmB7gLGrps\u201d— Les LeMieux, Sr (@Les LeMieux, Sr) 1659547321
\u201cFurious over Joe Biden elimination of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Taliban cancel nexts year\u2019s family reunion at Deadminster with Trump.\u201d— Hoodlum \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Hoodlum \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1659395583
\u201cJust in case you need more proof of Trump's incompetence.\n\nHe could have killed Zawahiri back in 2020 but didn't because he didn't know the name of the leader of Al Qaeda.\n\nHey Republicans, Is this really the guy you want in charge of national security?\nhttps://t.co/A7jfqRnK23\u201d— Eric Foltz (@Eric Foltz) 1659451050
\u201cTrump recently hosted a Saudi-backed golf tournament and ridiculously said that nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11.\n\nUnder Joe Biden, the United States killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the master planners of 9/11.\n\nThank you @POTUS for making America safer.\u201d— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1659395501
\u201cTrump feverishly looking into whether he can get al-Zawahiri's body buried at another one of his golf courses for the tax breaks.\u201d— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1659398501
The 2019 mission Trump ordered to take out Hamza bin Laden was successful, but many of the CIA's other top targets remain at large, including high-ranking Al Qaeda member Saif al-Adil, who is responsible for the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that killed 200 people.