What we know about Sanafi al-Nasr, the latest al-Qaeda leader killed by a US airstrike
Sanafi al-Nasr was a Saudi national who relocated from Iran to Syria in 2013, according to the Pentagon. (Twitter)
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The US announced on Sunday a coalition airstrike killed another senior al-Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al-Nasr in northwest Syria. But besides knowing he was a high-ranking extremist, the extent of his influence was largely unknown until his death.
Much of what we gather about Nasr comes from what the US says about him. Here's what the press release says:
The Saudi national, whose real name was Abdul Mohsen Adbullah Ibrahim al-Sharekh, was an expert in funneling money and recruits. He would move funds for al-Qaeda from Gulf donors to Iraq. From Pakistan to Syria, he moved both money and al-Qaeda fighters using routes through Turkey. And before he relocated to Syria in 2013, he was part of al-Qaeda's network in Iran that reports say cooperates directly with the government.
The US says Nasr was the highest-ranking official in al-Qaeda's Khorasan Group, an entity clouded in mystery and skepticism.
Not much has been said about the group, allegedly a pack of veteran al-Qaeda members based in Syria that coordinates with al-Nusra Front. Some think the group was created in a US attempt to show more success, and bolster more support, for its involvement in Syria, Vanity Fair reported in 2014.
Syrian activists telling us theyve never heard of Khorasan or its leader— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 24, 2014
As of August 2014, Nasr became a Specially Desigated Global Terrorist, meaning any of his assets in the US were frozen under Executive Order 13224. The Pentagon says Nasr was the fifth Khorasan Group leader the US-led coalition killed in the past four months.
"This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group's plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement.
By Hayat Norimine