Israeli agents shot and killed Muhammad al-Masri, the No. 2 leader in the Al-Qaeda organization, on a street in Tehran about three months ago at the behest of the US, American officials told the New York Times over the weekend. None of the parties involved publicly confirmed the assassination. The Israeli Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and the administration of President Trump declined to comment.
The second-in-command of Al-Qaeda was accused of being one of the masterminds of the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was murdered three months ago, intelligence sources in Washington confirmed. His real name was Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, and he was shot to death on a street in Tehran on August 7, the anniversary of the attacks on the embassies in Africa. Also killed was his daughter Mariam, who was the widow of Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden.
According to the report, the assassination was carried out by two Israeli agents at the behest of the US, although it is not clear exactly what role was played by the US, which tracked his movements for years. At the time, rumors spread about the circumstances of al-Masri's death, but they were not confirmed. Al-Qaeda did not announce the death of one of its most senior leaders, the Iranians covered up the information, and no country took responsibility for the assassination.
al-Masri was one of the founders of the organization and a candidate to succeed the current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The bombings of the embassies in Africa, which al-Masri was accused of carrying out, killed 224 people and wounded hundreds of others. The FBI had offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to his capture.
al-Masri had been in Iran since 2003 and lived in the neighborhood of Pasdaran. On August 7, at 9am, he was driving his Renault with his daughter near his house when two motorcyclists approached the car. Five shots were fired, with four bullets penetrating the vehicle from the direction of the driver's seat and one bullet hitting a passing car.
In the Iranian media, the two killed were identified as Habib Daoud, who was described as a history teacher from Lebanon, and his daughter Mariam. Lebanese television claimed that he was a Hizbollah operative. American sources reported that Habib Daoud was the name that the Iranians gave to al-Masri when he was given asylum in Iran. The Iranians denied again that the leaders of Al-Qaeda were present in their country.