No, It’s Not Surprising That Abu Muhammad al-Masri Was Living in Iran

In 2005, Abu Muhammad al-Masri (left) attended the wedding of Hamza bin Laden (center) to his daughter in Iran.  

On August 7, Israeli operatives, acting at the behest of American officials, gunned down the deputy emir of al-Qaeda in a well-to-do suburb of Tehran, Iran. The al-Qaeda leader, a veteran jihadist known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, had been wanted by the U.S. government for more than two decades. 

Masri (also known as Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah) was implicated in the August 7, 1998, U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The date of those twin attacks, which left 224 people dead, was quite obviously on the minds of those who planned the highly secretive assassination behind enemy lines. Gunmen working on behalf of America’s ally finally caught up with Masri 22 years later to the day. 

The clandestine hit was first reported by an al-Qaeda linked social media account, which accurately relayed that both Masri and his daughter, Miriam, had been killed in Iran. That version of events was translated and published by MEMRI on October 20. Three weeks later, anonymous intelligence officials confirmed to the New York Times and then other press outlets that the operation had taken place. The Israeli media has reported additional, provocative allegations, including that father and daughter were planning attacks on Israeli and U.S. interests at the time of their demise.

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