Quoting intelligence officials, The New York Times reports that Abu Muhammad al-Masri, al Qaeda’s second-highest leader, accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran three months ago.
The report says that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by two assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy attacks. He was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, the report says.
The attack was carried out by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to four of the officials. It is unclear what role if any was played by the United States, which had been tracking the movements of Mr. al-Masri and other Qaeda operatives in Iran for years, the report says.
Al-Masri, who was about 58, was one of Al Qaeda’s founding leaders and was thought to be first in line to lead the organization after its current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, according to NY Times.
Iran Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement rejected the report and said al-Qaeda has no presence in Iran. The ministry said that al-Qaeda is a product of US policies in the region.
This comes as late in October the National Directorate of Security said that Al-Qaeda mastermind, Mohsen al-Misri, was killed in an operation conducted by Afghan forces in Andar district in Ghazni province.
Al-Misri was operating as the terrorist group key member for the Indian subcontinent, the NDS said. Earlier, the NDS had said that Almisri has succumbed to his injuries during the arrest.
Later, the NDS corrected its information and said al-Misri was killed in Afghan forces operation in Andar district in Ghazni.