Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, accused of serving to to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives appearing on the behest of the US, the New York Instances 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 bike within the streets of Tehran on August 7, the Instances reported on Friday.
The killing of Masri, who was seen as a probable successor to al Qaeda’s present chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was saved secret till now, the newspaper stated.
A senior Afghan safety supply informed Reuters in October that Masri, who has lengthy been on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wished Terrorists checklist, had been killed within the Pasdaran space of Tehran. Reuters had been unable to corroborate that data.
It was unclear what, if any, position the US had within the killing of the Egyptian-born militant, the Instances stated. US authorities had been monitoring Masri and different al Qaeda operatives in Iran for years, it stated.
Al Qaeda has not introduced his demise, Iranian officers have coated it up and no authorities has publicly claimed duty, the Instances stated.
Iran on Saturday denied the report, saying there have been no al Qaeda “terrorists” on its soil.
Overseas Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated in a press release that the US and Israel generally “attempt to tie Iran to such teams by mendacity and leaking false data to the media in an effort to keep away from duty for the prison actions of this group and different terrorist teams within the area”.
The administration of President Donald Trump’s ”scare-mongering tactic in opposition to Iran has develop into routine,” Khatibzadeh stated.
A US official, talking to Reuters on situation of anonymity, declined to substantiate any particulars of the Instances 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.
The Israeli prime minister’s workplace stated it was not commenting on the report.
Israel has stated up to now that its intelligence providers have penetrated Iran lately, together with saying in 2018 that it had smuggled out an alleged archive of Iranian nuclear secrets and techniques.
Masri, one among al Qaeda’s founding leaders, was killed alongside together with his daughter, the Instances reported. She was the widow of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s son.
Osama bin Laden orchestrated the September 11, 2001, assaults on the US and was killed in a US raid in Pakistan in 2011.
Shi’ite Iran and al Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim militant organisation, have lengthy been enemies.
Masri had been in Iran’s “custody” since 2003 however had been residing freely in an upscale suburb of Tehran since 2015, the Instances cited unnamed US intelligence officers as saying.
US counterterrorism officers consider Iran, additionally a US enemy, might have let him dwell there to conduct operations in opposition to US targets, the Instances stated.
There was an uncommon killing in Tehran on August 7, the day Masri was reportedly killed, that was reported by Iranian state media on the time. State media stated on August eight Lebanese man and his daughter had been killed within the northern Tehran neighbourhood of Pasdaran by unknown assailants on bike.
They recognized the person as Habib Dawoud, a 58-year-old historical past instructor, and his daughter Mariam, 27.
The semi-official Mehr information company quoted a Tehran police supply as saying the 2 have been in a automobile and have been shot 4 instances from the driving force’s aspect.
The Iranian authorities didn’t affirm the incident on the time, though on August eight the official IRNA information company reported that the general public relations workplace of Tehran’s Provincial Authorities had tweeted the report quoting a number of media, together with social media accounts.
It was not instantly identified what, if any, influence Masri’s demise has had on al Qaeda’s actions. Even because it has misplaced senior leaders within the almost 20 years for the reason that assaults on New York and Washington, it has maintained energetic associates from the Center East to Afghanistan to West Africa.
The report of al-Masri’s killing comes weeks after the killing of two different senior al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan by native safety forces.
In October, Afghan safety forces killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, one other particular person on the FBI’s terrorist checklist, whereas the Afghan authorities this month introduced that it had killed yet one more senior al Qaeda commander.