Top Al-Qaida Leader Abu Muhammad Al-Masri Killed in Iran: Report

Al-Masri was accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on US embassies in Africa.

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Al-Qaida’s second-highest leader Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah who else went by Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was killed in Iran on 7 August, intelligence officials have confirmed, reported The New York Times, on Saturday, 14 November.

Al-Masri was reportedly accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on US embassies in Africa.

THE KILLING

According to the NYT, al-Masri was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in Tehran.

Reportedly, his daughter Miriam, who was also the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden died with Masri.

The NYT, citing four unnamed officials, reported that the attack was carried out by Israeli operatives on the behest of the United States. However, the report further stated that the role played by the United States is still unclear.

According to the NYT, “al-Masri’s death had been rumored but never confirmed until now.”

Further, the NYT says:

“For reasons that are still obscure, al-Qaida has not announced the death of one of its top leaders, Iranian officials covered it up, and no country has publicly claimed responsibility for it.”   

BUT, WHO WAS AL MASRI?

Al-Masri was about 58 years old and one of al-Qaida’s founding leaders. He was also expected to take over the leadership of the organisation after its current leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

Masri had long featured on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

According to some American analysts, al-Masri’s killing will break connections between one of the last original al-Qaida leaders and the new generation Islamist militants who have grown up after Osama Bin Laden’s death in 2011, reported NYT.

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