Seifallah Ben Hassine
Senior Tunisian jihadi Seifallah Ben HassineYouTube

US officials have confirmed the death of Tunsia's most wanted jihadist, Seifallah Ben Hassine, who was responsible for a litany of terror attacks including an assault on the US Embassy in Tunisia in 2012.

Officials have said Hassine, who was also known by his nom de guerre Abu Ayadh al Tunisi, was killed in US airstrikes on a farm in the eastern Libyan town of Ajdabia in June.

Hassine was not the primary target of the F-15 fighter jet airstrike, which was planned against Algerian Al-Qaeda leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. Belmokhtar, who masterminded the 2013 attack on Algeria's In Amenas oil facility that left 35 dead, including three Americans, appears to have survived the attack.

American officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New York Times that on-the-ground intelligence had confirmed earlier Tunisian reports that Hassine had died in the attacks. There has not been any definitive DNA confirmation, however.

Belmokhtar Mali
Al-Qaeda's Mokhtar BelmokhtarReuters

Hassine, at one time a senior lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden, was the founder of Ansar Al-Sharia, a potent extremist Al-Qaeda affiliate with branches in Tunisia and Libya. Its Libyan offshoot was responsible for the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens.

The jihadi hoped to replicate the Benghazi attack in his native Tunisia with his 2012 attack. Two were killed and at least 29 wounded in the assault.

The UN, which lists Hassine as a wanted Al-Qaeda associate, says that in his role as leader of Ansar Al-Sharia since 2011 he was held responsible for the assassination of two Tunisian politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahm.

He was also implicated in attacks against Tunisian security and the attempted bombing of a tourist hotel in Sousse in 2013.

Hassine's death will be welcomed by Tunisia, particularly in the wake of last week's bloody attack on tourists in Sousse that left 39 dead, mostly British nationals.

Tunis School attack
The interior of the American School after it was attacked by protesters in Tunis in 2012 at the same time as the US EmbassyReuters

The perpetrator of the attacks, Seifeddine Rezgui, who is said to have been part of an Islamic State sleeper cell , was trained in an Ansar Al-Sharia training camp in Libya, as were the two shooters involved in the Bardo Museum massacre.

Hassine had been in Libya since 2013, security officials said. The North African country has increasingly become a safe haven for the region's most senior terrorist figures.

The Tunisian government has called for help from the international community in dealing with the spread of extremism from Libya and its own internal threat.