Al Qaeda Operative, Khorasan Leader Confirmed Killed in Airstrike

Muhsin al-Fadhli / State Department
July 21, 2015

U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday that a senior al Qaeda operative responsible for training recruits to attack the West was killed in an American airstrike in Syria, according to the Associated Press.

"Muhsin al-Fadhli, a longtime al-Qaeda operative, was killed in a kinetic strike July 8 while traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria. Al-Fadhli was the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies," Capt. Jeff Davis, director of press operations at the Pentagon, said in a statement. 

"He was a senior al Qaeda facilitator who was among the few trusted al Qaeda leaders that received advanced notification of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.  Al-Fadhli was also involved in terrorist attacks that took place in October 2002, including against U.S. Marines on Faylaka Island in Kuwait and on the French ship MV Limburg. His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al-Qaeda against the United States and our allies and partners."

Al-Fadhli, 34, once headed al Qaeda in Iran before relocating to Syria, Long War Journal reported. He was sent to join the al Nusrah Front, the official branch of al Qaeda in Syria, after a dispute between Al Nusrah and the Islamic State. He also led the Khorasan Group, a group of al Qaeda operatives that plotted attacks on the West from Syria.

The State Department had previously offered a $7 million reward for information leading to his capture or death. He had been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a terrorist since 2005.

Published under: Al Qaeda , Terrorism