Yesterday (Aug. 1), it was announced by the United States government that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the Sunni Islamic extremist outfit al-Qaeda, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was said to have been hit by a CIA drone strike while standing on the balcony of his safe house.

President Joe Biden further confirmed the news during an evening address to the nation:

“Now we make it clear again tonight, that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide: if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out. … After carefully considering the clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized the precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.”

Biden further explained his decision to launch the attack on Osama bin Laden‘s successor:

For decades, he was the mastermind behind the attacks against Americans, including the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, which killed 17 American sailors and wounded dozens more. … He played a key role, a key role in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and wounding over 4,500 others. He carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats and American interests.”

Barack Obama also released a statement on social media, praising his former vice president while also speaking to those affected by the infamous 9/11 attacks:

More than 20 years after 9/11, one of the masterminds of that terrorist attack … has finally been brought to justice. It’s a tribute to President Biden’s leadership, to the members of the intelligence community … and to the counterterrorism professionals who were able to take al-Zawahiri out without a single civilian casualty. … I hope it provides a small measure of peace to the 9/11 families and everyone else who has suffered at the hands of al-Qaeda.”

You can check out both a recap of Biden‘s press conference and Obama‘s full Twitter thread below.