A U.S. aid worker said he used to live the life of luxury at the same house where Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was taken out by U.S. forces Sunday.
Dan Smock, 48, who now lives in Texas, explained to The Daily Beast how the Kabul home where Zawahiri was killed on the balcony was actually a house where American aid workers lived and partied.
“It’s kind of a weird thing,” Smock said. “I talked to a few people about it, the people I used to live there with. We’ve all been kind of looking at some of our old pictures that we were able to dig up. Most of them are blurry or full of drunk people, but, you know.”
Smock said he lived in the house between 2012 and 2014 while working on USAID-funded projects in the terrorist-ridden nation, according to The Daily Beast.
I mean. Yeah. It was a nice balcony. Talked to The Guardian about living in the same house as Al Qaeda CEO. https://t.co/K7y0nVFuHy
— TheDanSmock (@TheDanSmock) August 4, 2022
“We called it the ‘Kabubble’,” Smock told The Daily Beast. “It got to a point where you really couldn’t leave, so it’s just all of you hanging out together. It gets to be very much this sort of college-frat party type of experience, because I can’t go anywhere, I’ve got nothing else to do, and we can get alcohol right?”
Smock said he was shocked to learn that his own beloved “Kabubble” was actually a hiding spot for Al Qaida’s top leader, but said he was less surprised that Zawahiri was enjoying the balcony in his final moments.
“The first thing was like, ‘That’s weird. Huh. Shit. Of course he stood on that balcony – it’s a good balcony.’ Then it’s kind of weird. We literally funded that building and then we had to leave and then he’s there.”
Smock said it was a “surreal experience to kind of full-circle go: ‘oh, yeah, the guy who started the global war on terror lived at my house.” (RELATED: Biden Said Al-Qaida Was ‘Gone’ From Afghanistan. The US Just Killed The Group’s Leader In Kabul)
The White House announced Monday it successfully conducted a “counterterrorism operation” on July 30 at 9:48 p.m. Eastern time or 6:18 a.m. July 31 Kabul time, that took out Zawahiri.
Officials believe he and his family moved to the house in Afghanistan within the past year, and while it is believed that he never left the compound, he often would enjoy the balcony view where he was later killed.