Afghan security forces have killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a senior al Qaeda leader, the country’s intelligence agency said on Saturday.
Al-Masri, believed to be al Qaeda’s second-in-command, was killed in a special operation in Ghazni province, the National Directorate of Security said in a tweet.
He was on the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.
The head of US National Counter-Terrorism Center, Chris Miller, confirmed al-Masri’s death in a statement, saying his “removal .. from the battlefield is a major setback to a terrorist organization that is consistently experiencing strategic losses facilitated by the United States and its partners.”
Al Qaeda’s loss of al-Masri, Miller continued, “highlights the diminishing effectiveness of the terrorist organization.”
Al-Masri, an Egyptian national, has been charged in the United States with having provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiracy to kill US nationals.
Afghan Acting Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi said that al-Masri’s death in Afghanistan demonstrates close ties between the Taliban and terrorist groups.