U.S. military officials in Iraq say the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq has not been captured.

They denied reports from an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, who told Iraqi state television on Thursday that Abu Ayyub al-Masri had been detained in a raid in the city of Mosul.

Al-Masri, who also goes by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, took over command of al-Qaida in Iraq after Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006.

Last year, Iraqi forces said al-Masri had been killed in fighting, but al-Qaida in Iraq denied that report and released an audio recording from the Egyptian-born militant.

Last month, a message said to be from al-Masri threatened a fresh campaign of attacks against U.S. troops and vowed to behead a U.S. soldier.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.