Abu Obaidah al-Masri, a secretive figure behind foiled terrorist plots in Europe, died a year ago, US intelligence officials say.
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.
"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.
Recent intelligence suggests that Masri died too, officials say. But they say they have no confirmation, no Internet eulogies of the kind that celebrated [Libyan chief Abu Laith al] Libi.
Cultivating the art of survival through anonymity, Masri may have beaten the odds once again. Or it may be that, for strategic reasons, both sides want to keep his fate ambiguous as a successor emerges.
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