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The Al-Masri Assassination: Another Iranian Intelligence Failure

On August 7, 2020, the number 2 figure in al-Qaeda, Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah (known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri), was gunned down in Tehran. Al-Masri’s very presence in Iran exhibited the close relationship Tehran has with the Sunni terrorist organization, and his slaying shows the weakness of Iranian counterintelligence. The regime’s frustration at this intelligence failure will likely be expressed through acts of violence. It will probably reform its counterintelligence community and may ask for assistance in this endeavor from both Russia and China.

Ardavan Khoshnood


Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Perspectives Paper, No. 1825