US kills senior Khorasan Group leader
WASHINGTON, United States (AP):
An American air strike in Syria has killed a key figure in a dangerous al-Qaida offshoot, the Defence Department said yesterday.
Muhsin al-Fadhli was killed in a July 8 air attack while traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement. Davis did not further elaborate on the nature of the air strike, such as whether al-Fadhli was killed by a drone or a piloted aircraft.
Al-Fadhli was a leader of the Khorasan Group, a cadre of al-Qaida operatives who were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks on the West. Officials say the Khorasan Group is embedded in the al Nusra front, Syria's al-Qaida affiliate.
Previously based in Iran, al-Fadhli was the subject of a US$7 million reward by the State Department for information leading to his capture or death. He had been falsely reported as having been killed last fall.
Davis noted that he was "among the few trusted al-Qaida leaders that received advanced notification of the September 11, 2001, attacks."
Al-Fadhli was also involved in October 2002 attacks against US Marines on Faylaka Island in Kuwait and on the French ship MV Limburg, Davis said.
"His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al-Qaida against the United States and our allies and partners."