For some reason the West likes to distinguish between the supposedly hard-line "military" terrorists and the supposedly more peaceful, pragmatic "political" terrorists.
Here's how the media has been reporting his role.
...a 49-year-old cleric regarded as one of Hamas's most hardline political leaders.RTT News:
Nizar Rayyan, considered a political leader by Hamas, had close ties to the military wing of Hamas.The National (UAE):
He often served as a spiritual adviser to both the Hamas political and military wings and would often co-ordinate the group’s political and military operations, according to people close to Hamas.Bloomberg:
Rayyan was a go-between for Hamas’s political and military wings.Arab News:
The 49-year-old Rayan ranked among Hamas’ top five decision-makers. A professor of Islamic law, he was known for his close ties to the group’s military wing and was respected in Gaza for donning combat fatigues and personally participating in clashes against Israeli forces.The now-exploded spiritual leader is proof positive that there is no real distinction in Hamas between the "political" and "military" wings.
Hopefully, the media will start understanding this.