, 9 tweets, 2 min read
THREAD #AlQaeda supporters say top AQ figure Abu Khallad al-Muhandis (Jordanian) has been "martyred" via an IED that targeted his car, presumably in Syria. No info yet about who was behind the attack. The words "treacherous attack" suggest supporters think he was killed by rivals
Abu Khallad was one of five al-Qaeda figures (see tweet from 17 Aug) released by Iran in 2015 in a prisoner swap with AQAP. He was held there for 13 yrs
He's believed to be a top official in the Syria-based Hurras al-Din group, al-Qaeda's unannounced branch in Syria. He came out of the woodwork in early December 2017, setting up his own Telegram channel and giving info about his background. He called himself "the forgotten emir"
If his death is confirmed, he joins another AQ figure who went to Syria after imprisonment in Iran. Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, a deputy for al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri, was killed in Syria in 2017
Our team had written an extensive profile of him when he emerged online: Profile: Abu-Khallad, veteran al-Qaeda figure in Syria monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c1doqo…
He was detained by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in late November 2017 alongside two other Jordanian al-Qaeda figures - Sami al-Uraydi and Abu-Julaybib al-Tubasi - over his outspoken views against HTS. Prior to that, he apparently kept a v. low profile
So it seems the last of that batch (AQ heavyweights who went to Syria after imprisonment in Iran) still alive is Jordanian Khalid al-Aruri (aka Abu-al-Qassam al-Urduni), who once served as al-Zarqawi's deputy. He's now serving with Hurras al-Din
Some jihadists offer condolences to al-Qaeda official Sayf al-Adl and to Hurras al-Din, on the death of al-Muhandis in Idlib. Where's Sayf al-Adl? Could he have also made his way to Syria? Why not offer condolences to Hurras leader Abu Humam al-Shami or AQ leader Zawahiri?
Analysis: From Iran to Syria, the al-Qaeda figures who made the journey. (unlocked) monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c20118…
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