[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
US kills al-Qaeda 'number three'
Armed group confirms Mustafa Abu al-Yazid was killed in Pakistan last month.
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2010 16:41 GMT
Al-Yazid was a longtime member of the organisation [AFP/Site Intelligence Group]

The US government has said that it killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an Egyptian man described as al-Qaeda's "number three" official.

Al-Qaeda confirmed al-Yazid's death in a message posted on internet forums on Monday.

The message contains no details about his death, but US officials believe al-Yazid, also known as Sheikh Sa'id al-Masri, was killed in northwest Pakistan last month.

"We have strong reason to believe ... that al-Masri was killed recently in Pakistan's tribal areas," a US counter-terrorism official told the Reuters news agency.

Senior leader

Al-Yazid was a longtime member of al-Qaeda and was described by a US official as being the organisations "chief operating officer".

It was unclear exactly where or how al-Yazid was killed.

Sheikh Sa'id al-Masri

Born in Egypt in 1955. 

Al-Qaeda's third-in-command, behind Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.

Founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, one of the groups that merged to form al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Iran.

Served as a top propagandist for al-Qaeda and Taliban.

Former treasurer of al-Qaeda.

Pakistani news reports speculate that he was killed in a US drone strike, but US officials would not comment.

"And there's some controversy here, because nobody in Pakistan has confirmed where he was killed," Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Lahore, said.

The US government also alleged that he helped to funnel money to some of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Al-Yazid headed al-Qaeda's Afghanistan branch for several years, and reportedly ran many of the group's operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"He was also the organisation's prime conduit to bin Laden and Zawahiri," the US official said, referring to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The al-Qaeda message said that al-Yazid's wife, and several other family members, were killed along with him.

Al-Yazid was a former member of Egypt's Islamic Jihad organisation and spent time in prison after Anwar Sadat, the former Egyptian president, was assassinated in 1981.

His last public statement was issued on May 4, wherein he praised Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the two al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders killed in a raid in April.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list