Abu Ubaidah al-Masri
Abu Ubaida al-Masri (Arabic: ابو عبيده المصري) (died December 2007) was an al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan. Al-Masri was implicated in the 2006 Transatlantic Aircraft Plot, which was to be carried out by a terrorist cell operating in London, but which was orchestrated by al-Qaeda's central leadership.
Al-Masri was thought to be a provincial al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan, but according to The New York Times, "[al-Masri] emerged as one of Al Qaeda's senior operatives after the death of Abu Hamza Rabia, another Egyptian who was killed by a missile strike in Pakistan in 2005."
The information about al-Masri's ascendency through the al-Qaeda leadership allegedly came from interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives captured in Pakistan. Al-Masri was suspected of helping recruit and train operatives who carried out the 7 July 2005 London Bombings. According to American intelligence officials, he was also suspected of involvement in the foiled plan to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean in 2006.
Al-Masri lived in Germany before going to Afghanistan to join the Mujahadeen. After Afghanistan, he returned to Germany to begin building a network in Europe.
In 2006, two attempts were made by coalition forces to kill him.
Reports of death
According to U.S. government counterterrorism sources, al-Masri is believed to have died in December 2007, in Pakistan's tribal region reportedly of natural causes, probably due to hepatitis. Al-Masri was between 40 and 50 years old.
- Mark Mazzetti (April 2, 2008). "New Generation of Qaeda Chiefs Is Seen on Rise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- Jonathan S. Landay (April 8, 2008). "Al Qaida operative who helped direct London bombings is dead". McClatchy Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
- Whitlock, Craig; DeYoung, Karen (2008-04-09). "Top Al-Qaeda Planner Believed to Have Died, U.S. Officials Say". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-09.