- Al-Qaeda’s second in command was secretly killed by Israeli forces in Iran three months ago, The New York Times reported.
- Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down by a two-person hit squad on a motorcycle in the streets of Tehran on August 7, 2020.
- His daughter, the widow of former al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden was also killed.
- He was on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $US10 million bounty.
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Al-Qaeda’s second in command was secretly killed by Israeli forces in Iran three months ago, according to The New York Times.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle in Tehran’s streets on August 7, 2020, The New York Times reported.
The date of his death coincided with that of the deadly attacks on US embassies across Africa in 1998 which killed 224 people and al-Masri is said to be the mastermind behind, according to the Independent.
His daughter, the widow of former al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden was also killed, The Times added.
The killing of al-Masri, who was a likely successor to al-Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, was carried out at the behest of the US, four intelligence officials told The New York Times.
He was on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $US10 million bounty.
The Egyptian-born terrorist has been in Iran’s ‘custody’ since 2003 but had been living freely in an upscale suburb of Tehran since 2015, US intelligence officials also told The Times.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that there were no al-Qaeda “terrorists” on Iranian soil, according to The Guardian.
It added: “From time to time, Washington and Tel Aviv try to tie Iran to such groups by lying and leaking false information to the media in order to avoid responsibility for the criminal activities of this group and other terrorist groups in the region.”
Some have speculated that Iran has allowed some al-Qaeda members to stay there to dissuade them from carrying out attacks on the country or in exchange for prisoners, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
The New York Times added that US counterterrorism officials believe Iran may have let them live there to conduct operations against US targets.
Al-Qaeda has not yet announced his death while nor the White House or Israeli officials have commented, according to Reuters.
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