Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A veteran al-Qaida member with ties to Osama bin Laden died in a U.S. airstrike near Idlib, Syria, the Pentagon reported.
Defense Department spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis described Abu Hani al-Masri as a "legacy al-Qaida terrorist" with links to bin Laden and current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Masri was among 10 people killed Feb. 3 when an airstrike hit a building used as a meeting place, Davis' statement said Tuesday.
Al-Masri oversaw the construction of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s, where recruits were trained and indoctrinated. He was also a founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the first Sunni group to use suicide bombers in terrorist attacks. The group is responsible for numerous attacks on U.S. facilities, one a thwarted attempt in 1998 to detonate explosives at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania.
U.S. airstrikes thus far in 2017 killed four al-Qaida leaders, the statement added.