Islamabad, Nov.24 : Rashid Rauf, the British al-Qaeda suspect reportedly killed by a US missile strike in a Pakistani tribal area on Saturday, was linked to the group's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The Telegraph quoted Pakistani government and intelligence officials as saying that the US believed that Rauf was staying with a group connected to Zawahiri. Zawahiri is believed by American officials to operate from Pakistan's lawless, tribal border areas.
Rauf had been on the run since escaping from a Pakistani jail nearly a year ago. He and a Saudi militant called Abu Zubair al-Masri were among five killed in a missile attack in North Waziristan on Saturday.
Rauf, a British national, was alleged to have been the mastermind of an al-Qaeda plot to blow up passenger aircraft in mid-air after they left London bound for the United States.
There was no independent corroboration of his death but local Pakistani intelligence officials and US intelligence officials believed he was dead, according to a senior Pakistani military source.
The information minister, Sherry Rehman, confirmed that Rauf and Misri were targeted in the raid. She did not elaborate.