US Kills Mastermind of Baghdad Bombings

Senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader also in execution video
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2008 7:35 AM CDT
U.S soldiers stand guard September 10, 2008 in Gazaliyah neighborhood north west of Baghdad, Iraq.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The US has killed a senior leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq suspected of masterminding one of the deadliest bombings in Baghdad, the AP reports. Mahir Ahmad Mahmud al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu Assad or Abu Rami, allegedly directed the cell responsible for a  series of blasts that killed more than 200 people in 2006, as well as car bomb and suicide attacks this week targeting two Shiite mosques that killed 2 dozen.

Al-Zubaydi also was believed to have planned and participated in abductions and videotaped executions, including one in which he is personally seen shooting one of four kidnapped Russians, the US military says. He is one of the most senior insurgents to be killed by US forces as they seek to shore up recent security gains that have driven the level of violence to its lowest point in more than four years.