The head of the radical al-Qaeda offshoot who was credited with
converting and radicalising the British extremist known as “Jihadi John”
has been killed in a United States airstrike, the Pentagon announced.
al-Fadhli, the leader of the Khorasan Group and a long-time high-value
US terror target with a US$7 million bounty on his head, was killed on
July 8 when a vehicle he was travelling in near Sarmada in northwestern
Syria was struck by US missiles.
As a close former confidant of
Osama bin Laden, al-Fadhli was “among the few trusted al-Qaeda leaders
that received advanced notification of the September 11, 2001, attacks”,
according to a Pentagon spokesman.
The Khorasan Group was formed
out of a cadre of al-Qaeda operatives who were sent from Pakistan to
Syria to plot attacks on the West. Officials say the Khorasan Group is
part of the al-Nusra front, Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate.
It emerged earlier this year that al-Fadhli had been
personally instrumental in turning Mohammed Emwazi – or “Jihadi John” –
into the bloodthirsty executioner who appeared in several gruesome Isis
(Islamic State) videos beheading Western hostages.
that Emwazi met al-Fadhli, a native of Kuwait, in 2007 and that the
leader had a profound influence on him, convincing him to renounce his
Shia faith and convert to the branch of Sunni Islam followed by Isis.
three Spanish journalists have gone missing in Syria where they were
reporting from the northwestern Aleppo region, the Spanish press