An Al-Qaeda messenger unwittingly dispatched two top Islamist commanders to their deaths this month, when a US-backed force tracked him to their den and killed them, investigators told AFP on Thursday.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, who had direct links with Osama bin Laden, were killed in a shootout when a joint Iraqi-US force raided their safehouse north of Baghdad on April 18.
Baghdadi was the political leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) while Masri, an Egyptian militant, was the insurgent group’s self-styled “minister of war.”
The pair, according to investigators, did not use cell phones or the Internet but relied on their own postman who relayed messages between them and other insurgents.
Once a week the man, whose identity was not revealed, sat in a cafe where he contacted insurgents, delivering messages from Baghdadi and receiving others for the top Qaeda operative.