Pakistani intelligence says that the US killed an al-Qaeda weapons expert in a missile strike in South Waziristan today. Abu Khabab al-Masri had a $5 million bounty on his head as AQ’s leading chemical weapons expert, and had also run training camps for terrorists in Pakistan. He briefly became a missile expert, too — at least for a moment:
Al-Qaeda chemical weapons expert Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar was believed to have been killed Monday in a suspected US missile strike in Pakistan, security officials told AFP. …
The Egyptian, 54, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, had a five-million-US-dollar bounty on his head and allegedly ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
American officials thought they got Abu Khabab, born Midhat Mursi, last January. That turned out to be erroneous, and the US had gone back to hunting the terrorist mastermind. Khabab trained Richard Reid, the erstwhile shoe bomber, as well as Zacarias Moussaoui. Khabab also wrote the ur-text of terrorist explosives training.
Khabab may be most remembered for his experiments with chemical weapons. In video that shocked a world grown somewhat used to terrorism, the AQ terrorist exposed dogs to chemicals used for weapons and watched them die horrible deaths. The video made clear AQ’s desire to wield chemical weapons for terrorist purposes — and Khabab was the man in charge of making that a reality.
If Khabab has been atomized into his component chemicals, it will be a fitting end for a man who dreamed of horrible, despicable murders and did his best to make them happen. If we spent $5 million for information that led to his demise, it was money well spent.