ABC is reporting that al Qaeda’s top bombmaker and chemical weapons expert was killed in last week’s Predator attack in Pakistan:
Midhat Mursi, 52, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was identified by Pakistani authorities as one of three known al Qaeda leaders present at an apparent terror summit conference in the village of Damadola.
The United States had posted a $5 million reward for Mursi’s capture. He is described by U.S. authorities as the man who ran al Qaeda’s infamous Derunta training camp in Afghanistan, where he used dogs and other animals as subjects of experiments with poison and chemicals.
“This is extraordinarily important,” said former FBI agent Jack Cloonan, an ABC News consultant, who was the senior agent on the FBI’s al Qaeda squad. “He’s the man who trained the shoe bomber, Richard Reid and Zacharias Mousssaoui, as well as hundreds of others.”
Great news, assuming it’s confirmed.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the AP reports, based on information from different Pakistani officials, that the bodies of the “foreigners” who were present at the dinner have not been found, and their identities are still unknown.
FURTHER UPDATE: This more recent Reuters story says that Pakistani intelligence has identified three of the four dead al Qaeda terrorists, even though their bodies have not yet been discovered. According to this account, those killed in addition to Mursi were Zawahiri’s son in law, Abdul Rehman Al-Misri al Maghribi, and Abu Obaidah al Misri, al Qaeda’s chief of operations in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
Via Power Line News.