United States identifies new Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq as Egyptian Abu Ayyub Al-Masri

Friday, June 16, 2006

The U.S. identified the new Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian with ties to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri was the number two in command of Al-Qaeda.

"We think that Abu Ayyub al-Masri is in fact, probably, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. They are probably one and the same" said Major General William Caldwell, spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri is thought to specialise in bomb making.

The announcement came eight days after Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had been identified by al-Qaeda as its leader in Iraq, had been "terminated" in a U.S. airstrike near Baqubah.

Related news