The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a senior al Qaeda operative and leader of the Khorasan Group was killed by a U.S. airstrike earlier this month in Syria.
Muhsin al-Fadhli, one of only a few elite al Qaeda leaders who received advanced notification of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, was killed July 8 while traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria, according to Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
“Al-Fadhli was the leader of a network of veteran al Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies,” Capt. Davis said in a statement.
Al-Fadhli was also involved in an attack in October 2002 that killed one Marine and two Kuwaitis participating in a training exercise on Faylaka Island off the coast of Kuwait.
“His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al Qaeda against the United States and our allies and partners,” Capt. Davis said.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said al-Fadhli’s high-level position within al Qaeda will not be filled easily.
“A seasoned, knowledgeable, and dangerous terrorist who actively sought to harm the United States and its allies has been taken off the battlefield for good,” Mr. Schiff said in a statement. “This successful operation proves yet again that the U.S. will work tirelessly to remove terrorists from the battlefield, even in the most challenging environments.”