Al-Qaeda’s third-ranking operative, an Egyptian who was a founding member of the terrorist network and a key conduit to Osama bin Laden, has been killed in Pakistan, according to a statement from Al-Qaeda that US intelligence officials believe is accurate.
A US official said there is “strong reason” to believe that Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, known as Sheik Saeed al-Masri, apparently was killed by a CIA drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal belt within the past two weeks.
Yazid, 54, was an original member of Al-Qaeda’s Shura leadership council, an Al Qaeda commander for Afghanistan and served as an adviser to bin Laden for over 15 years. He was the group’s chief organisational manager, in charge of finances and logistics.
The 9/11 Commission identified Yazid as Al-Qaeda ’s “chief financial manager” and said he opposed the Septmber 11, 2001, hijackings “because he feared the US response to the attack.”
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