Khorasan leader Muhsin al-Fadhli is believed to have been killed in the first US air strikes in Syria, an American official has said.
"We believe he is dead," the official told the Reuters news agency.
The US attacked the al-Qaeda linked group in Syria in air strikes on Monday, saying it had intelligence the group was plotting an “imminent attack against America and Western interests”.
The group had been nearing the execution of a plot against US or European targets, according to officals.
The eight strikes against Khorasan hit targets west of Aleppo, including training camps, an explosives and munitions factory, a communication building and command and control facilities.
Fadhli, 33, has experienced a meteoric rise through al-Qaeda ranks. The US State Department put out a $7 million reward for information about his location in 2012.
James Clapper, the US Director of national intelligence, said Khorasan is “In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.”
The Pentagon has said it was unable to confirm whether any Khorasan leaders were killed in US strikes in Syria, adding they were investigating the reports, according to Reuters.
"We just don't have a confirmation to make at this point," said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren. "We don't have personnel on the ground to verify, so we're continuing to assess."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies