Al Qaeda confirms death of its chemical weapons expert

August 4th, 2008 - 3:24 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Cairo, Aug 4 (DPA) International terror outfit Al Qaeda Sunday confirmed on Islamist websites that its chemical and biological weapons expert, Abu Khabab al-Masri, had been killed in a US airstrike on a Taliban hide-out in Pakistan. Three other Al Qaeda members and an unnamed number of children were also killed in the airstrike July 28.

Al-Masri, also known as Midhat Mursi, is believed to have headed Al Qaeda’s weapons-of-mass-destruction programme under the code name al-Zabadi (curdled milk).

He is believed to have planned a thwarted chemical attack on the Jordanian capital Amman in 2004.

Even before the fundamentalist Taliban regime was driven out of Afghanistan by the US and its allies following the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington DC, al-Masri was employed as Al Qaeda’s instructor for unconventional warfare.

In Afghanistan, the Egyptian-born terrorist carried out poison-gas experiments on dogs.

He wrote several manuals on how to produce and use improvised chemical and biological weapons.

Washington placed a $5-million bounty on his head.

Experts say his death will be a major blow to the international terrorist network and its ability to strike.

US missiles destroyed a Islamic school in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal region of North Waziristan July 28.

Pakistani authorities initially said that six people had died in the attack: three foreign extremists and three local boys.

It was already suspected at the time that al-Masri was among the dead.

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