Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, on the list of the world’s most wanted terrorists, according to Newsweek, is hiding in Karachi and being protected by Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI). Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri is a trained surgeon and was evicted when US forces ousted Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan in 2001. The US media agency claims that this report is based on a number of authoritative sources.
“His most likely location today, they say: Karachi, the teeming port city of 26 million people on the Arabian Sea,” Newsweek said. Bruce Riedel of the CIA, who has been the top adviser to the last four US presidents on South Asia and the Middle East, however said that there was no positive proof. “There are pretty good indications, including some of the material found in Abbottabad (where Osama bin Laden was killed), that point in that direction,” Riedel said, adding “This would be a logical place to hide out, where he would feel pretty comfortable that the Americans can’t come and get him.”
Riedel told the US news agency that had al-Zawahiri been hiding somewhere along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, they could have gone after him, but that would be very difficult to do in Karachi.
The 66-year-old Al-Qaeda leader is reported to have survived numerous drone strikes, including one in January last year which killed four of his security guards, when the drone had hit the room next to the one where al-Zawahiri was.