Al Qaidas ekspert på kjemiske og biologiske våpen, Abu Khabab al-Masri, ble trolig drept i et rakettangrep mot en landsby i Sør-Wazsiristan i Pakistan, sier pakistanske etterretningskilder. Amerikanerne tror de denne gang fikk ham.

Abu Khabab al-Masri ble meldt drept også i 2006, da man forsøkte å ta ut Ayman al-Zawahiri i et tilsvarende rakettangrep, men det viste seg å være feil.

Nå har kona til Abu Khabab al-Masri sagt til pakistansk politi at mannen hennes ble drept i et angrep.

En kompliserende faktor er at al-Masris kamerater tok med seg liket, slik at man ikke får den endelige bekreftelse.

The U.S. official said al-Masri was not an operations planner for al-Qaida, but played a crucial role because of his knowledge of explosives and poisons and his death would be a significant blow for the terrorist network.

«Not only does he know about these things, he’s trained people on them. He has a role to play, a vital role in external operations. He trains the people who go out to perform them,» the official said.

Several Pakistani officials told The Associated Press that missiles hit a compound near Azam Warsak, a village about 2 1/2 miles from the Afghan border. Security officials initially described the building as a religious school, but a local administrator said the school closed years ago.

One intelligence official said al-Masri had been living in that area for some time training suicide bombers and rigging cars with explosives for attacks inside Afghanistan.

The official said al-Masri’s wife, daughter and son were all wounded in Monday’s attack and were being treated at a private hospital in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan.

Al-Qaida man reported killed in missile strike