Iran denies report al Qaeda operative killed in Iran
Nov 15 2020
The US embassy bombings of August 7, 1998 occurred nearly simultaneously in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the attacks, 224 people died and hundreds were wounded.
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. Now, intelligence officials have confirmed that al-Masri was killed in Iran three months ago.
The Times reported that he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle in the streets of Tehran on August 7, and that the killing was kept secret until now. She was the widow of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's son. Four bullets entered his auto through the driver's side and a fifth hit a nearby vehicle. Iran's official story was that Habib Daoud, a Lebanese history professor, was killed along with his daughter.
He was on the FBI's most-wanted list with a $10 million bounty.
It was unclear if there was any role of the United States in the killing of the Egyptian-born militant, which occurred on August 7.
Therefore, Iran may have had a good reason for wanting to hide the fact that it was harboring an avowed enemy of the U.S.
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, USA intelligence officials also told The Times.
Shi'ite Iran and al Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim militant organization, have always been enemies.
"Iran uses sectarianism as a cudgel when it suits the regime, but is also willing to overlook the Sunni-Shia divide when it suits Iranian interests", Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Center, said.
"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", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued in Tehran. They had been detained and returned to their home countries.
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.