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Five future leaders of al Qaeda!

Interesting Op-Ed Article: Beyond Yemen, Awlaki: Look for core Al Qaeda members outside the hot spots By ROLF MOWATT-LARSSEN / Cambridge published Monday October 3, 2011
An outstanding op-ed piece by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen (senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government), mentioned five members of al Qaeda that could be the future leaders of al Qaeda. So who are they?


With the death of key al Qaeda leaders, the war on terrorism is far from over. In this entry I would like to discuss a little bit more about the five individuals that Mr. Mowatt-Larssen spoke about.
Leading the herd is Saif al-Adl, an Egyptian explosives expert who was one of the masterminds of the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat. He left Egypt in 1988 to join the mujahideen fighting Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Soon after the Soviets defeat, he continued to provide support for the Jihadist networks. Adel is a member of the majlis al shura of al-Qaeda and a member of its military committee, and he provided military and intelligence training to members of al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan, and to anti-UN Somali tribes. He is known to habe established the al-Qaeda training facility at Ras Kamboni in Somalia near the Kenyan border and in Khartoum, Adel taught recruited militants how to handle explosives in the unused sections of Al-Damazin Farms. In early November 2001, the Taliban government announced they were bestowing official Afghan citizenship on him. After operations began in Afghanistan, Adel went into hiding, narrowly escaping in the middle of a U.S operation targeting a convoy in Panjwai (a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan). In 2004 he published a terrorist manual that advised prospective militants about how to strike easy targets. There has been speculation that Adel fled Afghanistan to Iran and was detained under house arrest near Tehran. Later reports indicate that he was released in March 2010 in exchange for the release of an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in November 2008 and made his way to northern Pakistan. As of October, 2010, Der Spiegel reported that Adel was currently in the Pakistani province of North Waziristan between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Adnan Shukrijumah (Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah) on the other hand, grew up in the United States in Miramar, Florida and worked as a school teacher. Shukriumah moved to the United States in the 1980s as a teenager with his parents. In the late 1990s, U.S. authorities believe that he may have been trained at an Afghan training camp. He is alleged to have received assistance from American neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui (an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist (Upon her arrest, the Afghan police said she was carrying in her purse handwritten notes and a computer thumb drive containing recipes for conventional bombs and weapons of mass destruction, instructions on how to make machines to shoot down U.S. drones, descriptions of New York City landmarks with references to a mass casualty attack, and two pounds of sodium cyanide in a glass jar) who was convicted of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan). Jose Padilla (Padilla was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002 on suspicion of plotting a radiological bomb ("dirty bomb") attack) claims to have been partnered with Shukrijumah in the summer of 2001, and that the pair were taught how to seal natural gas into apartment complexes and detonate explosions in a course they received at the Kandahar airport. Shukrijumah left the United States in May 2001 and flew to Trinidad after receiving his degree in computer engineering. In late 2002, Shukrijumah phoned his parents to tell them that he had found a wife, settled down and had a son, and was now teaching English in Morocco. On June 30, 2004, it was announced by the Honduran Security Ministry that Shukrijumah had been in Honduras during the previous month meeting with members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang (MS-13). That September, the Aviation Security Association claimed that a Japanese flight attendant had confronted Shukrijumah while he had been acting strangely at Kansai International Airport. In June 2007, his name came up in several taped conversations of three Muslim men who were nabbed in an alleged plan to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport, involving exploding jet-fuel pipelines that snake from New York to New Jersey. During the conversations it came up that Bin Laden had tapped Shukrijumah to lead a plot to detonate nuclear bombs simultaneously in several U.S. cities. In June, 2010, anonymous U.S. counter-terrorism officials told the Associated Press that Najibullah Zazi, who was arrested in September 2009 on charges that he planned to suicide bomb the New York subway system, had met with Shukrijumah in a camp in Pakistan. His current whereabouts are still unknown.
 
Abdel Aziz al-Masri (Ali Sayyid Muhamed Mustafa al-Bakri) is a former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, from which he migrated to al-Qaeda along with Ayman al-Zawahiri. He is an al Qaeda member and expert on explosives and chemical weapons. Al-Bakri also unsuccessfully attempted to hijack a Pakistani Air passenger flight in December, 2000. It is highly probable that he continues to train al Qaeda terrorists and other extremists. He was last reported to be in Iran with Adl in mid-2003, when the group was shopping for nuclear devices, technologies, and materials. His current whereabouts are unknown.

At a much lower level, we have Mohammed Luay al-Bayazi (Mohammed Loay Bayazid), a Syrian national alleged to be the note taker at the al Qaeda’s founding meeting in 1988. Bayazid moved to the United States with his parents, as a teenager, and began studying engineering at University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1982, but he later moved to Tucson, and studied at the University of Arizona. He is believed to speak Persian, Chinese, Arabic and English fluently. The FBI claims that Bayazid was part of a team sent to try to obtain weapons-grade uranium; Bayazid reportedly telling a colleague about how he and another man had "tried to purchase uranium and were hustled out of $100,000". He is reported to have lived in Richmond, British Columbia, probably in the late 1990s. By 1994, Bayazid had returned to the United States, obtaining his Illinois driver’s license and joining Benevolence International Foundation (the nonprofit charitable trust based in Saudi Arabia. It was a front for al-Qaeda and is now banned worldwide by the United Nations Security Council Committee 1267). He was last reported to be in Sudan.

In addition we also have Mubarek al-Duri, an Iraqi national who was living in Tucson, Arizona in the early 1980s. He later moved to Khartoum in 1991, where he shared an office with Al-Jihad member. He was also personal friend of Bayazi, who is believed to have recruited him. Al-Duri was in charge of the Al-Damazin Farms project (a huge farm owned and run by bin Laden about 300 miles south-east of Khartoum, Sudan (Al-Qaeda held "refresh courses" in small arms and explosives on the farms)). He was last said to be in Iraq (2004).

Just to add a final piece, a Pakistan nuclear specialist apparently recruited by Al Qaeda has not been identified, and is presumably at large. Recent media reports indicate a senior Al Qaeda cadre under house arrest in Iran has been allowed to leave the country, suggesting some key weapons- operatives may now be free to engage in operational planning. We must find these five guys before they are able to pull off another successful operation. 

References:
Who's who in al-Qaeda, BBC News, 19 February 2003
Dawoud, Khaled. The Guardian, Mohammed Atef, November 19, 2001
Abdel Bari Atwan. "The Secret History of Al Qaeda", p. 221. University of California Press, 2006.
Al-Qaida finds safe haven in Iran, MSNBC, 24 June 2005
A Top Terrorist Returns to Al-Qaida Fold: Saif al-Adel Back in Waziristan", by Yassin Musharbash, October 25, 2010, Der Spiegel
Feds Hoped to Snag Bin Laden Nuke Expert in JFK Bomb Plot". Fox News. June 4, 2007.
United States House of Representatives, Small Business Committee, Testimony of Janice L. Kephart
From dishwasher to al Qaeda leadership: Who is Adnan Shukrijumah?". CNN. August 6, 2010
al-Bakri, Ali Sayyid Muhamed Mustafa at the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge base
Wright, Lawrence. "The Looming Tower"
Tenet, George, "At the Centre of the Storm", 2007. pp 270-271
CSIS, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub, February 2008
Bin Laden's Money Trail Reaches Around the Globe". FOX News. September 19, 2001.



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