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Al-Qaeda's number two 'secretly killed in Iran' by Israeli agents: NYT

Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists [Twitter]

Date of publication: 14 November, 2020

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Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, was shot and killed in Tehran by two Israeli operatives, a report claimed.
Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, indicted in the US for the 1998 bombings of its embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, was secretly killed in Iran in August, The New York Times reported Friday, despite the militant group previously announcing his death in 2017.

Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, was shot and killed in Tehran by two Israeli operatives on a motorcycle at the behest of the United States, intelligence officials confirmed to the Times.

The attack, which took place on August 7 on the anniversary of the Africa bombings, has not been publicly acknowledged by the US, Iran, Israel or Al-Qaeda. 

The senior Qaeda leader, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden, the Times said.

However, in 2017, Al-Qaeda confirmed the top leader, dubbed by analysts as "jihadi royalty" was killed in a drone strike by the US-led coalition in Syria.

In a statement by two branches of the global jihadist group, including the powerful al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the militant's said "the hero".."was killed during a Crusader drone strike" in Syria.

"All of al-Sham (Syria) will bear witness to the latest crime of America and the Crusader alliance," the statement said, in reference to the US-led coalition bombing jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

The statement at the time also expressed its condolences to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

US federal authorities had offered a $10 million reward for any information leading to his capture.

Read also: Pakistan PM Imran Khan slammed for saying bin Laden was 'martyred'

Abdullah was the "most experienced and capable operational planner not in US or allied custody," according to a highly classified document provided by the US National Counterterrorism Center in 2008, according to the Times.

The bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 left 224 people dead and more than 5,000 injured.

Abdullah was indicted by a US federal grand jury later that year for his role.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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