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Al Qaeda mastermind believed dead

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Abu Obaidah al-Masri, a senior militant planner for Al Qaeda and the alleged mastermind behind the 2005 London transportation bombings, has reportedly died last year in Afghanistan. Although Mr. Masri has been noted as a key Al Qaeda figure, security analysts say that his position will likely be swiftly filled as the network appears to be regrouping in the remote Afghan-Pakistani border region.

While there have been several prior attempts on his life, Reuters quotes a US intelligence figure as being confident that Masri recently died of natural causes:

"There is compelling reason to believe that Abu Obaidah is dead," a U.S. counterterrorism official said on condition of anonymity.
McClatchy newspapers reported that Masri died of hepatitis in Pakistan.

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