Egyptian official states Al-Qaeda explosives expert killed in airstrike

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Friday, April 14, 2006

FBI Photograph of Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah.

Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah, 45, who is accused of being an Al-Qaeda explosive expert, was killed in a missile attack on Wednesday night in Pakistan, said Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistan's information minister. At least eight other alleged terrorists, both foreign and of Pakistani descent, were also believed to have been killed in the strike. However, the body of Atwah has not yet been found and the identities of the others killed are not yet known. It is believed that at least two children were also killed.

"We can confirm the identities of the foreigners killed once we have carried out a thorough ground check," said Pakistani military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan.

Atwah, also known as Abdul Rahman Al-Muhajir, Muhammad K.A. and Abdel Rahman, is accused of being responsible for the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998 which killed 20 Americans and at least 200 Africans. Atwah is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists with a bounty of five million dollars.

"His death has been confirmed. The confirmation is based upon multiple intelligence sources," said Ahmed.

"I confirm the death of this Egyptian terrorist," said an Egyptian minister.

Pakistani forces used missile fire and explosives launched from assault helicopters to kill the expert in the North Waziristan village of Naghar Kalai, which lies near the border of Afghanistan.

Atwah "had been living here for quite some time," said one security official.

However, it is believed that associates of the alleged terrorists killed removed the bodies and buried them in an unidentified location, but at least four tribesmen that were killed were buried in the town's cemetery.

So far, neither the United States FBI nor U.S. officials in Egypt have confirmed the death of Atwah.