Israeli agents killed al Qaeda’s No. 2 - NYT

Al Qaeda's second-in-command is said to have been killed in Iran back in August by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to a report by the New York Times.

Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah -- also known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri -- was seen as a likely successor to al Qaeda's current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri

He was also accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

The Times reported that he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle in the streets of Tehran on Aug. 7.

And that the killing was kept secret, until now.

A senior Afghan security source told Reuters in October that Masri -- who has long been on the U.S. FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list -- had been killed in​​Tehran.

But Reuters could not corroborate that information.

It is unclear what, if any, role the United States had in the killing of the militant.

On Saturday, Iran denied the report, saying there were no quote, al Qaeda "terrorists" on its soil.

The White House National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment and the Israeli prime minister's office said it was not commenting.