Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri , a senior Al-Qaida operative involved in the 2005 London subway and bus bombings and a 2006 plot to blow up commercial airliners over the Atlantic Ocean has died of hepatitis in Pakistan’s tribal region. He may have been dead for several months.
The U.S. had claimed that Al-Qaida’s leadership has been directing terrorist plots from inside the border region’s safe havens of soaring mountains and rugged valleys — Pakistan denied the claim.
Abu Ayyub al-Masri escaped previous attempts by the U.S. to kill him: (1) An unmanned air vehicle missile strike in Damadola, a village in the Bajaur Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan, about 4.5 miles from the Afghanistan border, in January 2006, killed 18 people, but not Masri. (2) Pakistani helicopters attacked a religious school in Damadola in October 2006, killing more than 80 people, but not Masri.