Saeed al-Masri

Saeed al-Masri
Born February 27, 1955[1]
Died May 21, 2010 (aged 55)
Boya, North Waziristan, Pakistan
Other names Sheikh Saeed al-Masri

Mustafa Ahmed Muhammad Uthman Abu al-Yazid (مصطفى أحمد محمد عثمان أبو اليزيد), better known as Saeed al-Masri (سعيد المصري) or simply al-Masri (المصري = the Egyptian), (February 27, 1955 - May 21, 2010) was an Egyptian who was alleged to have acted as the financial chief for al-Qaeda.[2][3] Along with Mahfouz Ould al-Walid and Saif al-Adel, al-Masri was believed to have opposed the September 11 attacks two months prior to their execution.[4] He was killed in a targeted killing drone airstrike in Pakistan on May 21, 2010.

In Pakistan

He was initially arrested among hundreds of others following the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.[5] He was imprisoned for three years in Egypt, and shortly after he joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and in 1988 went to Afghanistan.[6] He had two wives and several sons and daughters, including one married to the son of Sheikh Omar Abd al-Rahman.[6]

As of 1991, al-Masri was working as the financial chief for al-Qaeda, running the Mektabh al-Muhassiba (accounting office) in Peshawar. He was alleged to have appointed Ibrahim al-Qosi as his deputy to handle money destined for NGO projects.[7]

In Sudan

Al-Masri set up a financial office on McNimr Street in Khartoum on June 9, 1993, from where he managed al-Qaeda's payroll. al-Fadl aided al-Masri until he was replaced by Abu Dijana al-Yemeni and Abdallah Lubnani.

After receiving his pilot license, L'Houssaine Kherchtou returned to the Sudan in December 1995, but was appalled to find that his wife, heavily pregnant and in need of $500 for a cesarean section, was begging on the streets for money to allow her entrance to Khartoum's general hospital. Kherchtou went to al-Masri and asked him to cover his wife's medical bills, and was upset upon being informed there was no money to spare and al-Masri suggested he take her to a Muslim charitable hospital for free treatment. He angrily demanded to know "if it was your wife or your daughter, you would take her there", and later recounted that he was angry enough to have shot al-Masri if he had had a gun at the time.[8][9][10][11][12]

Return to Pakistan, claims of death

In May 2007, al-Masri released a video promising Americans that al-Qaeda troops had been training through the winter and were ready to begin a fresh summer offensive in Afghanistan.[13]

In December, al-Masri was said to have claimed responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, telling Adnkronos International that "we terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat mujahideen".[14] The Asia Times Online also reported that it had received a claim of responsibility from al-Masri by telephone.[15]

al-Masri allowed himself to be interviewed on Geo Television in July 2008 following the Danish embassy bombing, which he claimed were carried out by a Saudi follower of al-Qaeda.[16][17]

Pakistan's DAWN reported him killed on August 13, 2008 in an airstrike in Bajaur.[18][19] Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesman Maulvi Omar, himself captured five days after the attack, denied the claim that al-Masri had been killed.[19][20] Others suggested that the report of his death was a Pakistani attempt to refute recent American accusations that sections of the ISI were still assisting al-Qaeda.[21][22]

On February 9, 2009 the Indian government received a video from al-Yazid in which he reiterated the promise of Pakistani retaliation if India launched a first strike. This video took everyone by surprise as he was presumed to be dead.[23]

Confirmed death

He was reported as having been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan on May 21, 2010 along with his wife, three daughters and granddaughter. His death was confirmed by US officials and al-Qaeda.[24][25][26]

See also


  2. Whitlock, Craig; Ladaa, Munir (2006). "Al-Qaeda's New Leadership". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
  3. "Shaikh Saiid al-Masri". Global Security. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  4. 9/11 Commission p 251
  5. Fox, Senior al-Qaeda commander killed in Pakistan, August 12, 2008
  6. 1 2 Michael Scheuer (July 3, 2007) Al-Qaeda's New Leader in Afghanistan: A Profile of Abu al-Yazid Terrorism Focus Volume 4, Issue 21. The Jamestown Foundation. Washington, DC. p. 5-7.
  7. Charge sheet, United States of America v. Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi
  8. Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon. "The Age of Sacred Terror", 2002
  9. Hirsch, Susan F. "In the moment of Greatest Calamity", 2006
  10. Wright, Lawerence. "The Looming Tower", p. 197
  11. Vest, Jason. American Prospect, Pray and Tell Archived 2010-02-06 at the Wayback Machine., June 19, 2005
  12. Bergen, Peter. "The Osama bin Laden I Know", 2006. p. 141 & 154
  13. 1 2 Al-Jazirah carries video remarks by 'new' al-Qa'ida official in Afghanistan, May 27, 2007. Archived August 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Pakistan: Al-Qaeda claims Bhutto's death". Adnkronos. December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2007.
  15. Shahzad, Syed Saleem (December 27, 2007). "Al-Qaeda claims Bhutto killing". Asia Times Online. Retrieved December 27, 2007.
  16. Asharz Alawsat, Senior al-Qaeda leader killed in Pakistan, August 12, 2008
  17. Zulfiqar Ali, Laura King (August 13, 2008). "Al Qaeda Official Is Said To Be Dead". Los Angeles Times. p. 6. Archived from the original on August 30, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
  18. Daily Telegraph, Al-Qa'eda's Abu Saeed al-Masri 'killed on Afghan border', August 12, 2008
  19. 1 2 DAWN, al-Qaeda leader among 18 killed in Bajaur, August 13, 2008
  20. Pakistan Captures Aide of Taliban Commander
  21. Cogan, James (August 16, 2008). "Hundreds dead in fighting along Afghanistan-Pakistan border". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  22. Mohamed al Shafey (August 29, 2008). "Sheikh Said: Al Qaeda's Financier". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on August 30, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  23. NDTV Correspondent (February 9, 2008). "Al-Qaida warns India against any attack on Pakistan". NDTV. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
  25. "Group: Al Qaeda says top leader in Afghanistan dies". CNN.
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