Iran has denied news that a No.2 leader of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda was killed in Tehran in August. "The New York Times" newspaper reported that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, was gunned down in the street by Israeli agents following a request by the United States.
Abdullah, going by the moniker Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was reportedly shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in Tehran on August 7.
Iran rejected the allegations of Abdullah's killing by Israeli operatives in Tehran, cautioning the U.S. media of falling for "Hollywood-style scenario-making" by the Israeli and U.S. officials.
Iran foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh, in a statement on Saturday hours following the release of the New York Times article, said that the "terrorist" group was formed as an aftermath of the region's failed U.S. policies, reported Aljareeza.
According to Iran, on Saturday, the report that the second-in-command had been furtively killed in Tehran by Israeli agents was based on invented information. It denied the allegations of the presence of the group's members on Iranian soil.
Khatibzadeh's statement further stated that Iran's foes, the U.S. and Israel, "try to shift the responsibility for the criminal acts of [Al-Qaeda] and other terrorist groups in the region and link Iran to such groups with lies and by leaking made-up information to the media," reported The Times of Israel.
Al Qaeda's no. 2 allegedly contributed to masterminding the bombings of two American embassies in Africa in 1998.
The newspaper also reported that the killing of Masri, who was regarded as a possible successor to Al Qaeda's current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was kept furtive until now.
It was not made clear in the report what role the U.S. had in the killing of the militant born in Egypt.
According to a senior Afghan security source in October, Masri, who has long been on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list, had reportedly been killed in Tehran's Pasdaran.
For years, authorities had been tracking Masri and other Al Qaeda operatives in Iran.
Intelligence officials told "The New York Times" that two Israeli agents were acting in accordance with America when they shot Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah on the anniversary of the embassy bombings. Abdullah was alleged to have planned the fatal attacks on American embassies. His daughter Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden, was also reportedly gunned, reported The Hill.
However, Iran stated it had no Al-Qaeda terrorists residing in the nation.
According to Khatibzadeh, "In order to dodge responsibility for the criminal activities of this group and other terrorist groups in the region, Washington and Tel Aviv from time to time try to paint Iran as being tied to these groups through weaving lies and leaking fabricated information to the media."