Top Al Qaeda operative was tracked and killed by US and Israel: report | TheHill – The Hill

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The U.S. coordinated with Israel to track and kill Al Qaeda’s No. 2 official in a shooting in Tehran in August, The Associated Press reported on Saturday. 

The New York Times reported on Friday that two Israeli agents were acting at the behest of the U.S. when they shot Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, from a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the seventh anniversary of the bombings of the American embassies in Africa.

His daughter, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, was also killed.  

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Former current and U.S. officials told the AP that the U.S. provided intelligence to Israel on where they could find Abdullah and the alias he was using.

An official in the intelligence community and a former CIA officer briefed on the matter told the news outlet that he was killed by Kidon, a unit within Israeli spy organization Mossad that handles killings of high-value targets. 

The intelligence community official also told AP that his daughter Maryam was a target because the U.S. believed she was being groomed for a leadership role in Al Qaeda and intelligence suggested she was involved in operational planning. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House, CIA and National Security Council for comment. 

Abdullah’s death had been rumored for months, though it was not confirmed until Friday. At the time, it was unclear how involved the U.S. was in his death.

Abdullah was one of Al Qaeda’s founding members and was believed to be second-in-command to the insurgent  group’s current leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

The U.S. had a $10 million bounty on his head over the 1998 bombings.

Iran initially tried to cover up the killing, saying the dead man was Habib Daoud, a Lebanese history professor and a member of Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militant group bankrolled by Tehran.

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