“Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda who served as Osama bin Laden’d deputy on 9/11, ‘is confirmed to be alive’ and is ‘communicating freely,’ according to a report from the United Nations’ Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team [sic]. Additionally, the UN said the Taliban-Al Qaeda alliance remains strong,” wrote the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal.
“While it is not news that Zawahiri is alive, well, and communicating comfortably, some terrorism analysts previously claimed Zawahiri was dead as recently as Nov. 2020. While not explicitly stated, Zawahiri is likely operating inside Afghanistan,” the journal noted.
The Taliban’s resurgent rule in Afghanistan over the past year has allegedly facilitated a rejuvenation of its longtime affiliate al-Qaeda, according to the U.N. report.
“Member States note that al-Zawahiri’s apparent increased comfort and ability to communicate has coincided with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the consolidation of power of key [Al Qaeda] allies within their de facto administration,” the U.N. Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team noted in a recent report on the status of Al-Qaeda.