London Subway Bomber Dead in Pakistan

Abu Ubaida al-Masri, the planner of the 7/7/05 London subway bombing and various other al Qaeda operations has been confirmed dead. No word on whether he was the #2 or #3 ranked man in al Qaeda.

Abu Ubaida al-Masri, one of Al Qaeda’s top operatives and the mastermind behind a plot to use liquid explosives to blow British passenger jets out of the sky, is dead, a U.S. official confirmed to FOX News Wednesday. The unidentified official said it is believed that al-Masri died of natural causes, possibly hepatitis, in Pakistan, and are staying away from a report that he was killed in a January CIA predator strike.

At the time of his death, the Egyptian-born al-Masri was responsible for the terror organization’s external operations, focusing on plotting attacks outside the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Al-Masri is tied to two major terrorist plots.

The first being the July 7, 2005, London subway bombing, in which al-Masri recruited, trained and directed four homicide bombers in a coordinated attack on London’s transportation system. In the attack, known as the 7/7 Bombings, three bombs exploded during morning rush-hour within 50 seconds of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus nearly an hour later. The attack left 52 commuters dead, and more than 700 injured. It was the largest and deadliest terror attack on London in its history.

The second plot, in August, 2006, involved the use of liquid explosives smuggled aboard several airliners traveling from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports to major cities in the U.S. and Canada with the intention of detonating the bombs in midair, destroying at least 10 aircraft.

There always seem to be more masterminds to replace the dead ones. Still, you take what good news you can.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. sam says:

    The unidentified official said it is believed that al-Masri died of natural causes, possibly hepatitis, in Pakistan

    Tell me again why some folks are all atwitter about Iran? And don’t get me started about Saudi Arabia.

  2. Bruce Moomaw says:

    May I snark that it’s absolutely amazing how many #3 figures al-Qaida has, as opposed to having just one #1 and one #2? It’s a little reminiscent of “The Prisoner”.