Iran has denied the New York Times report that the deputy commander of al-Qaeda was secretly killed in Tehran this summer by Israeli agents. Representatives of the Islamic Republic said that the message was based on “made-up information” and denied the presence of any of the group members in the country.
The United States and Israel are “trying to shift responsibility for the criminal acts of [al-Qaeda] and other terrorist groups in the region and linking Iran with such groups through lies and the leakage of fictitious information to the media,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
He accused the U.S. and “their allies in the region” of creating al-Qaeda “by its wrong policies” and urged the media “not to fall into the trap of Hollywood scenarios of Zionist officials.
On Friday, The New York Times reported that Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah, responsible for the 1998 bombings of the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, was shot and killed in Tehran in August by two Israeli agents. The group’s leader, alias Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was killed along with his daughter Miriam, widow of Osama bin Laden Hamza’s son, according to the Times, citing intelligence sources.
Washington has accused Tehran of harbouring al-Qaeda members.
“Despite the fact that in the past America did not avoid false accusations against Iran, this approach has become commonplace in the current U.S. administration,” Khatibzadeh said.
A former Israeli intelligence official said al-Masri was also charged with ordering an attack in 2002 on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, that killed 13 people and injured 80.