Al Qaida’s deputy, accused of helping to fight the 1998 bombings on two US embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli activists acting at the behest of the United States, the New York Times reported on Friday intelligence officials.
Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who passed the Nom de Guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in Tehran more than three months ago, the Times reported.
The murder of Masri, believed to be the likely successor of Al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has so far been kept secret, the newspaper said.
It is unclear what role the United States played in the August 7th assassination of the Egyptian-born terrorist, the Times said. The US authorities had persecuted Masri and other al-Qaida activists in Iran for years, it said.
A US official, speaking with Reuters on condition of anonymity, declined to confirm details in the Times story or to say whether there was any US involvement. The White House National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Masri was killed along with his daughter, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, the Times reported.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was killed in a US attack in Pakistan in 2011.
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