On January 13, 2006, the CIA launched an airstrike on Damadola, a Pakistani village near the Afghan border, where they believed Ayman al-Zawahiri was located. The airstrike killed a number of civilians but al-Zawahiri apparently was not among them. The Pakistani government issued a strong protest against the US attack, considered a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. However, several legal experts argue that this cannot be considered an assassination attempt as al-Zawahiri is named as terrorist and an enemy combatant by the United States, and therefore this targeted killing is not covered under Executive Order 12333, which banned assassinations. However this still remains a violation of sovereignty of Pakistan according to international law.
A new NIE focused on three years, The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland, says "Al Qaeda has reorganized to pre-9/11 strength and is preparing for a major US strike has sparked debate among government officials and observers about the Bush administration's foreign policy and counterterrorism efforts." It "indicates that the Islamic terrorist organization's rise has been bolstered by the Iraq war and the failure to counter extremism in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Operation Cannonball, a CIA operation, was disclosed in 2008. Began in 2006, it was intended as part of an effort to capture Osama bin Laden and eliminate Al-Qaeda forces in Pakistan. The operation was reportedly hampered by conflicts between CIA offices, leading to large delays in the deployment of the program.