Times Tells Tale of Top Terrorist Takedown in Tehran
Two motorcycle-riding Israeli agents in early August assassinated al-Qaida’s second in command, the man responsible for the 1998 terror attacks on the American embassies in Africa and one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists in a covert operation carried out in Iran’s capital, Tehran, at the behest of United States government, The New York Times revealed on Friday. The killing of the man slated to inherit current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was kept secret by the jihadist organization, the Israeli and US governments and Iran, which continued to deny the reports over the weekend. According to The Times, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was shot in his car alongside his daughter Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden. The incident was reported at the time as an assassination of a Lebanese Hizbullah operative turned history professor living in Iran, and then quickly hushed by Tehran authorities. Al-Masri’s residence in Iran is somewhat surprising, given that Iran, a Shi’ite republic, and al-Qaida, a Sunni group, are bitter foes with a history of fierce combat.