U.S. intel: AQ mastermind of London bombings, British airline plot dead

posted at 8:25 pm on April 8, 2008 by Allahpundit

Predator missile strike? Delta Force hit-and-run deep behind enemy lines? Nope. Better:

The senior al Qaida operative who helped direct the 2005 London subway bombings and a plot to blow up commercial airliners over the Atlantic Ocean has died in Pakistan’s tribal region, U.S. counter terrorism officials said Tuesday.

The senior militant, an Egyptian who used the nom de guerre Abu Ubaida al-Masri, recently succumbed to hepatitis, they said.

Never heard of him? Most people haven’t. The Times devoted a few paragraphs to him in a story last May about the next generation of Al Qaeda leadership, but I can’t even find a photo of him online. Which makes it remarkably coincidental that this announcement should come a scant six days after the LA Times published a long profile. He’s been a big dog for the past three years, supposedly promoted from Afghan operations to planning attacks on the west after a previous international commander was killed in 2005. His first score was as an assistant to Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi — whose name you should know — in training the London bombers before allegedly becoming “chief of external operations” himself. His baby? The skybomb plot:

Masri had embarked on his biggest task yet: a mega-project intended to match the carnage of the Sept. 11 attacks by blowing up airplanes en route from Britain to the United States. Half a dozen British militants traveled to Pakistan for training.

“He was involved in recruiting, overseeing the lesson plan, so to speak,” the U.S. anti-terrorism official said.

The innovative techniques required special instruction. Masri envisioned his operatives injecting the liquid explosives, a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide mix, with a syringe into the false bottoms of innocuous containers such as sports drinks, sneaking the components aboard and assembling bombs after takeoff.

“The airline plot is his thing,” a Western intelligence official said. “And it is a major plot.”

We’ve been trying to kill him for years via missile, most famously in the madrassa bombing in October 2006 that almost got Zawahiri and most recently (perhaps) in an airstrike in South Waziristan in February that killed upwards of 13 AQ operatives including “an Al Qaeda fugitive from Egypt,” where al-Masri was from. Roggio speculated at the time that he might have been the man in question. Given this news, I wonder.

Spend five minutes on the Times piece, though, as it includes some unusual passages about the degradation of AQ’s capabilities over the last six years. It’s an article of absolute faith among most of the media that they’re as strong as they’re ever been post-9/11 and are only getting stronger; the fact that the chief of external operations was allegedly reduced to personally training recruits in the art of bombmaking suggests otherwise.


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hepatitis

Dirty neddles? No 72 virgins for him.

Vote Sauron 08 on April 8, 2008 at 8:28 PM

“Masri envisioned his operatives injecting the liquid explosives …”

Yeah and because of this cave-dwelling azzhole we can’t bring shampoo on the plane with us … I guess they got what they wanted, we’re more like them now, we have no soap.

Tony737 on April 8, 2008 at 8:31 PM

Vote Sauron 08 on April 8, 2008 at 8:28 PM

or sexually transmitted.

lorien1973 on April 8, 2008 at 8:34 PM

I actually think I heard al-Masri get mentioned recently, I’m wanting to say NPR, but that could be wrong. In any case, good to see he’s worm food.

doubleplusundead on April 8, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Another rotten to the core murderer gone. And what a way to go, no express ticket to heaven for him.

Zorro on April 8, 2008 at 8:41 PM

“… AQ mastermind … dead … Predator missile strike? Delta Delta Force hit …? Nope. Better: … Abu Ubaida al-Masri, recently succumbed to hepatitis …”

That’s better than an airstrike or a Delta hit? No way man, I’d much rather him go the way Zarqawi went, with an airstrike Spec. Ops. combo. An F-16 flies over, his ‘safe-house’ goes boom, and when he comes to, he looks up to see an American Soldier standing over him looking down at him. THAT’S how I like to see a.q. leaders die.

Tony737 on April 8, 2008 at 8:43 PM

He’s now in the same cell as Mohammed up to his nostrils in pig vomit.

Akzed on April 8, 2008 at 8:44 PM

Spiritually speaking, of course.

Akzed on April 8, 2008 at 8:44 PM

Hopefully, he’s like Muhammad in Dante’s Inferno:

His guts hung between his legs and displayed His vital organs, including that wretched sack Which converts to whatever gets conveyed down the gullet.
As I stared at him he looked back And with his hands pulled his chest open, Saying, “See how I split open the crack in myself! See how twisted and broken Mohammed is!” Before me walks Ali, his face Cleft from chin to crown, grief–stricken.

emailnuevo on April 8, 2008 at 8:50 PM

E gads.

Akzed on April 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Was he married to Pamela Anderson too?

Seriously though, something like this surely strikes at the credibilty of AQ as warriors of God, right? Our propaganda guys need to push this in every arabic newspaper thats in print and get the word out that AQ is a bunch a deranged loons with none too savory or, er, holy habits and lifestyles.

VolMagic on April 8, 2008 at 8:52 PM

My guess is Hepatitis C—the poopie hepatitis.

IrishEi on April 8, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Well hells bells make a bomb
out of Hepatitis.What do you
mean you can’t make a bomb out
of Hepatitis,thats crazy talk!!Ha ha

canopfor on April 8, 2008 at 8:57 PM

E gads.

Akzed on April 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Literature is fun, no?

baldilocks on April 8, 2008 at 9:11 PM

My guess is Hepatitis C—the poopie hepatitis.

IrishEi on April 8, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Or he could have eaten bad seafood-anyone know if he had sent out for an order of fried clams recently?

Del Dolemonte on April 8, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Welcome back to the 8th century Jihadis. No vaccines or antibiotics where al-Masri and Sharia lives.

Speakup on April 8, 2008 at 9:30 PM

Bad case of the hep. Sorry, buzzwang.

indythinker on April 8, 2008 at 9:48 PM

I’d prefer that he died at the hands of Americans. Since he didn’t, I hope it hurt. And, that he spread it to all his little friends before he went.

trigon on April 8, 2008 at 10:07 PM

Hep was too good for him… Sorry. I hope his death was painful and agonizing though.

Claypigeon on April 8, 2008 at 10:08 PM

I’m guessing the CIA dropped some infected, young sheep with eye makeup near a group of caves, and the warriors of Mohamed had their way with them. Brilliant.

Hening on April 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM

The senior militant, an Egyptian who used the nom de guerre Abu Ubaida al-Masri, recently succumbed to hepatitis, they said.

1 – Medhat Mursy (Abu Khababa Al Masry) (52 years old),
2 – Abd El Rahman Al Maghraby (Al Zawahry son-in-law),
3 – Abu Obaida Al Masry, and
4 – Mustafa Osman

Were killed in early 2006 by a U.S. air strike in Pakistan.

Indy Conservative on April 8, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Ah, the joys of living in a third world, South Asian backwater.

Hepatitis Spreads In Pakistan

Gerard on April 8, 2008 at 10:46 PM

Pictured from left: Mastermind, Bin Laden.

Such a missed opportunity to stir the pot, AP! Should have been:

Mastermind, Bin Laden (R)

RushBaby on April 8, 2008 at 10:48 PM

Another good terrorist.

Johan Klaus on April 8, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Looks like theres a second career for over the hill Axl Rose groupies after all.

Chuck Schick on April 8, 2008 at 11:22 PM

Good riddance to trash.

A Axe on April 9, 2008 at 12:53 AM

I recall reports of Hajis taking suspicious trips to the airplane toilets in flight. We get lectures about taking bottles of shampoo in our luggage. I think of these dopes often when in the airport. F them all.

JAW on April 9, 2008 at 7:22 AM

He must have missed the sign on the cave wall that read “All terrorists must wash hands before returning to blow up innocent infidels.”

Captain Scarlet on April 9, 2008 at 7:42 AM

Which makes it remarkably coincidental that this announcement should come a scant six days after the LA Times published a long profile.

Ugh. A long profile indeed, describes him as “tanned and muscular.”

Brat on April 9, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Or as Ace would put it: Al Qaeda Mastermind Dies from Hepatitis, Weapons Fire, but mostly Hepatitis.

BohicaTwentyTwo on April 9, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Hening on April 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Ha! You need a talk radio show.

Actually, he can be denied his virgin sheep because he insulted Islam.

leftnomore on April 9, 2008 at 4:22 PM

hepatitis, they said.

Ah, but which hepatitis strain, A, B, or C, etc? That would clue us in a bit on how he contracted it.

Also, I hope he didn’t infect any poor helpless sheep while living in those lonely caves…

Liberty or Death on April 9, 2008 at 7:24 PM

No doubt, the official cause of death might more properly be listed as “Advanced Islamic Medical Care.”

morganfrost on April 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM