Egyptian al-Qaida veteran Abu Hani al-Masri was killed in a U.S. airstrike on Feb. 4 deep inside Syria, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Masri, a 30-year al-Qaida veteran, began his career as a founding member of the terrorist group Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which pioneered the use of suicide bombing. Sometime in the 1980s Masri made his way to Afghanistan where became a senior adviser to Osama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The Pentagon’s announcement of the death adds, Masri “oversaw the creation and operation of many al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and ’90s, where he recruited, indoctrinated, trained and equipped thousands of terrorists who subsequently spread throughout the region and the world.”
Jihadis and fellow al-Qaida terrorists quickly eulogized Masri on the internet noting that he “waged jihad in Chechnya, Bosnia and Somalia, serving as a mujahideen “commander” in East Africa.” The biography also states that Masri was let out prison by Egypt in 2011, coinciding with the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Masri eventually made his way into Syria to advise rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Masri’s death was announced along with notification that 10 other al-Qaida terrorists were killed in an airstrike on Feb. 3 in the same region of Syria.
The Pentagon elaborated that, “these strikes disrupt al-Qaida’s ability to plot and direct external attacks targeting the U.S. and our interests worldwide. These extremists are increasingly questioning the loyalty of their members as paranoia spreads throughout their network about the many strikes conducted against them. U.S. forces have struck multiple meeting locations, an established basic training camp, and four leaders since the beginning of the year.”
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