Israeli agents shot killed Abu Muhammad al-Masri in Tehran at the behest of the U.S, New York Times reported.
According to the New York Times, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Mohammed al-Masri, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on 7 August.
The Times quoted U.S intelligence officials saying in a report that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, accused of being one of the masterminds of the 1998 bombings on US embassies in Africa and the second-in-command of al-Qaeda, was killed by Israeli agents at the behest of the U.S.
According to the newspaper, al-Masri was seen as a possible successor to the current head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri. His death has so far been kept secret.
The Times says, it is unclear whether the United States played a role in the killing of the Egyptian-born militant, but the U.S. officials have been searching for al-Masri and other al Qaeda agents for years.
According to the newspaper, al-Qaeda did not announce al-Masri’s death, Iranian officials covered it up and neither the US nor Israel has publicly acknowledged the killing.
On the other hand, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the New York Times report over the death of the Al-Qaeda leader in Tehran was based on “fabricated” information. The Ministry has denied the existence of any of Al Qaeda “terrorists” in Iran.
While talking to the Routers, a US official declined to confirm any of the details in the Times story or say whether there was any US involvement.
The White House National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news report said that Al-Masri was killed along with his daughter, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden.
The newspaper cited unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that al-Masri had been in Iran’s custody since 2003 and was living freely in Tehran’s upscale suburbs since 2015.
According to the New York Times, US counter-terrorism officials believe that Iran, “the enemy of the United States,” may have let them to stay there in order to conduct operations on US targets.
The newspaper added that it was not immediately clear whether al-Masri’s death had any impacts on al-Qaeda’s activities.