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Pentagon: Top al Qaida-linked leader dead in U.S. airstrike in Syria

By
Amy R. Connolly
United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said top al-Qaida-linked militant and Saudi national Sanafi al-Nasr was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.
United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said top al-Qaida-linked militant and Saudi national Sanafi al-Nasr was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike. | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A top al-Qaida-linked militant and Saudi national was killed in a United States-led coalition airstrike in northwest Syria, the Pentagon said Sunday.

Sanafi al-Nasr, the highest ranking leader of the al-Qaida linked Khorasan Group, was killed Thursday. The Pentagon said al-Nasr was a "long-time jihadist" who funneled money and fighters to al Qaida. He is the fifth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months.

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"This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group's plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a written statement.

Officials said al-Nasr, also known as Abdul Mohsen Adballah Ibrahim al Charekh, organized and maintained routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey in addition to helping the militant group's external operations. In 2012, he took charge of al Qaida's finances before relocating to Syria in 2013.

In 2014, al-Nasr was named a specially designated global terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department.

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