Al-Qaida’s second-in-command was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives appearing on the behest of the USA, the New York Instances has reported, citing intelligence officers.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who glided by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down by two males on a motorbike in Tehran, the NYT reported. He was accused of serving to to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa.
Masri was seen as a possible successor to Ayman al-Zawahri, believed to be al-Qaida’s present chief.
It was unclear what, if any, position the USA had within the killing of the Egyptian-born militant on 7 August, the anniversary of the embassy assaults, the NYT stated, including that US authorities had been monitoring Masri and different al-Qaida operatives in Iran for years.
A US official, chatting with Reuters on situation of anonymity, declined to substantiate any of the main points within the NYT story or say whether or not there was any US involvement. The White Home nationwide safety council didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Masri was killed alongside along with his daughter, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, the Instances reported.
The al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the 9/11 assaults on the USA, was killed in a US raid in Pakistan in 2011.
Masri had been in Iran’s “custody” since 2003 however had been residing freely in an upscale suburb of Tehran since 2015, the NYT cited unnamed US intelligence officers as saying.
US counterterrorism officers believed Iran, additionally a US enemy, might have let him reside there to conduct operations in opposition to US targets, the NYT stated.
It was not instantly recognized what, if any, affect Masri’s dying has had on al-Qaida’s actions. Even because it has misplaced senior leaders within the practically 20 years for the reason that assaults on New York and Washington, it has maintained energetic associates from the Center East to Afghanistan and West Africa.