Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has rejected the New York Times report that al-Qaeda’s top leader was killed by Israeli agents in Tehran.
Khatibzadeh termed the report as “false” and denied any terrorist group presence in Iran.
“From time to time, Washington and Tel Aviv try to tie Iran to such groups by lying and leaking false information to the media in order to avoid responsibility for the criminal activities of this group and other terrorist groups in the region,” he said.
He further added that the media report was part of a “comprehensive economic, intelligence and psychological war against the Iranian people” and aimed to “show some association between the terrorist group and Iran”.
Note that the newspaper quoted intelligence officials as saying that in August, Israeli spies killed another key al Qaeda commander in Iran.
The al-Qaeda commander was accused of masterminding the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa, which were carried out by Israeli spies at the behest of the United States.
The American newspaper ‘New York Times’ reported that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, known as Abu Muhammad Al-Masri, was killed by two motorcyclists on a street in Tehran on August 7. Was shot dead.
The report said that the death of Abu Muhammad al-Masri, considered the successor to current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, had been kept secret until now.
It is unclear whether the United States had a role in the killing of Abu Mohammed al-Masri and what its role was, but US officials have been pursuing him and other al Qaeda operatives in Iran for years.
Al-Qaeda has not announced the death of Abu Mohammed al-Masri, Iranian officials have tried to cover it up, and no government has publicly claimed responsibility, the newspaper said.
However, a US official speaking to the international news agency Reuters on condition of anonymity confirmed the details of the New York Times report and declined to comment on whether the United States had a role in the operation.
The White House National Security Council did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The American newspaper reported that along with Abu Muhammad al-Masri, his daughter and the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden was also killed.
The report quoted unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that Abu Mohammed al-Masri had been in Iranian custody since 2003 but had been living on the outskirts of Tehran since 2015.
U.S. counterterrorism officials believe Iran may have kept them alive to use against U.S. targets.
Initially, it was unclear whether the death of Amu Mohammed al-Masri would affect al-Qaeda’s activities.