International Business Times reports that Sanafi al-Nasr, Senior al-Qaeda leader, has been killed today, Saturday, October 17, 2015, in an air strike in the Aleppo province in Syria. Two other Takfiri terrorists — Abdul Malik al-Jazrawi and Abu Yasir al-Maghrebi, of Saudi and Morroccan nationality respectively, were also targeted in the attack.
The attack coincides with a new Syrian offensive as Syrian soldiers have regained control of the town of Al-Huwayjinah, near known Russian air strikes in the Al-Zarba Village. In conjunction with Hezbollah forces, the Syrian Army are making gains in their regaining of control of towns and villages in the area as the air strikes soften up positions of terrorists who have previously occupied the area.
The Long War Journal, who broke the story, says that the deaths are unconfirmed, but rely on pictures posted by fellow Al Qaeda members. The majority of reports coming from Syria are being posted on social media, particularly Twitter, where Al Qaeda updates its activities.
There are reasons to doubt this report, as just last year the same claim — that Sanafi al-Nasr was killed — proved to be false. Death announcements are seen by the terrorists as a way to buy time for recovering from injury or moving to a different area after an air strike.
The volume of so called “chatter” on the internet, however, points to this most recent claim as valid, as several Al Qaeda members are giving tribute; a picture of the alleged grave of al-Nasr has been posted on Twitter.
“If Nasr is dead, then Al Qaeda has lost an important leader.”
Al-Nasr is a third cousin of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attack in the United States which destroyed the World Trade Center towers, as well as killed 2,606 people in the buildings when the planes struck the World Trade Center. One-hundred-twenty-five people also died at the Pentagon when a plane crashed into that building as well. Cases of cancer among emergency workers — 2,500 in all — are soaring, meaning the final casualty toll is still to be fully measured.
Al-Nasr was, however, against the Islamic State, which has become a rival terrorist group to Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda does not support the so-called “caliphate” which Islamic State seeks to impose throughout the Middle East.
As CTC Sentinal reports, losing al-Nasr will be a big blow to Al Qaeda, as he had been responsible for successfully taking over terrorist activies in Iran.
“Sanafi al-Nasr… was appointed the Iran-based representative of al-Qa’ida to replace Yasin al-Suri, an al-Qa’ida operative who had been jailed by the Iranian authorities. From Tehran, he managed a facilitation network that transferred finances and fighters to Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
While the death of al-Nasr will be seen as a positive for those who oppose terrorism, it is still unclear whether the attack was carried out by Russia or the United States.