A senior al-Qaeda leader linked to the 2005 London underground bombings and foiled plots to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners is believed to have died from natural causes, a US counterterrorism official said Wednesday. ( dpa )
Abu Obeida al-Masri appears to have died from hepatitis in recent months along the Afghan-Pakistani border, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"There is strong reason to believe that he is in fact dead," the official said.
Al-Masri, who was Egyptian, was regarded as a chief planner for al-Qaeda's foreign attacks and was suspected of plotting to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean, the official said. He has also been linked to the July 7, 2005 bombings of the London underground and a bus that killed 56 people.
"Certainly he was a very senior figure," the official said. "That being said, al-Qaeda has shown an ability to regenerate."