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A Hellfire missile fired by a CIA drone killed al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Khayr al-Masri late on Sunday while he was riding in a car near the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, a U.S. intelligence official said on Wednesday.
Axar.az reports that, the 59-year-old al-Masri, whose real name was Abdullah Muhammed Rajab Abdulrahman, was second-in-command to the group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and a member of its shura council, said the official, who was briefed on the attack and spoke on condition of anonymity.
He also was married to one of Osama bin Laden’s daughters, the official added. CNN first reported the strike.
The official said Masri, as he was widely known, had sought refuge in Iran after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and was believed to have been in Syria helping to direct Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, an al-Qaeda branch previously called the Nusra Front, the official said.
The Iranians released him from house arrest almost two years ago, in exchange for a diplomat being held hostage in Yemen by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the official said.
2017.03.02 / 20:59