AMMAN - A leading figure in al Qaeda who became a prominent member of its Syrian Nusra Front offshoot was killed in a drone attack on Monday, the group and jihadist sources said.
They said Sheikh Abu al Faraj al Masri, who spent years in prison in his native Egypt on charges of plotting with fundamentalist Islamist groups and later left for Afghanistan, died when the vehicle in which he was traveling was hit in rebel-held Idlib in Syria's northwest.
"May God accept him as a martyr who was killed in a Crusader raid," said a jihadist named Abu Mohammad al Shami.
The US Defense Department said in a statement that Masri was the target of a US air strike near Idlib on Monday. "We are still assessing the results of the strike," it said.