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Coalition Airstrike Kills Khorasan Group Leader

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WASHINGTON, October 18, 2015 — An Oct. 15 coalition airstrike in northwest Syria killed Abdul Mohsen Adballah Ibrahim al Charekh, also known as Sanafi al-Nasr, a Saudi national and the highest ranking leader of the network of veteran al-Qaida operatives sometimes called the Khorasan group, according to a Defense Department statement issued today.

"The United States will not relent in its mission to degrade, disrupt and destroy al-Qaida and its remnants," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in the statement. "This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group's plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach."

The statement called Al-Nasr "a long-time jihadist experienced in funneling money and fighters for al-Qaida." He moved funds from donors in the Gulf region into Iraq and then to al-Qaida leaders from Pakistan to Syria; he organized and maintained routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey; and he assisted al-Qaida's external operations in the West, the statement said.

Al-Nasr previously worked for al-Qaida's Iran-based facilitation network, and in 2012, he took charge of al-Qaida's core finances before relocating to Syria in 2013, the statement said. ‎Al-Nasr is the fifth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months.