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Who's Who In Al-Qaeda: The Complete Guide To Key Suspects

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posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 10:48 AM
Shortly after the 11 September attacks, the US issued a list of al-Qaeda suspects. Some have now been captured or killed, and some new names have been added to those still at large.

Few details about key figures have been officially released. BBC News Online pieces together what little is known about some of the key al-Qaeda suspects.

People At Large:

Osama Bin Laden:" target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>
Osama Bin Laden remains top of the wanted list

Osama Bin Laden is the man the US accuses of masterminding the 11 September suicide hijackings and other attacks on US interests.

He has been indicted for the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa and the attacks on the USS Cole in October 2000.

He founded al-Qaeda in 1979, originally as a guesthouse in Peshawar for Arab fighters.

Despite an extensive military operation in Afghanistan it is still not known where he is or even if he is definitely still alive

Ayman al-Zawahri:

Al-Zawahri serves as spiritual adviser

Egyptian in origin, al-Zawahri is believed to serve as Bin Laden's spiritual adviser, and doctor. He is also the architect of the al-Qaeda ideology.

In 1998, he was the second of five signatories to Bin Laden's notorious "fatwa" calling for attacks against US civilians.

He was a key figure in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group, which later merged with al-Qaeda.

Al-Zawahri has appeared alongside Bin Laden in al-Qaeda videotapes released since 11 September. His wife and children were reported killed in a US air strike in late November or early December 2001.

He has been indicted in the US for his role in the US embassy bombings in Africa, and was sentenced to death in Egypt in absentia for his activities with the Islamic Jihad group in the 1990s.

Sheikh Said:
A Saudi, Said is Bin Laden's brother-in-law and al-Qaeda's financial controller. He first linked up with Bin Laden in Sudan during the late 1990s.

US investigators believe he wired money to Mohammed Atta, alleged ringleader of the hijackers, shortly before the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

Saif al-Adel:

Adel is believed to be Bin Laden's security chief

An Egyptian in his late 30s, al-Adel is Bin Laden's security chief.

He is believed to have assumed many of the late Mohammed Atef's duties in al-Qaeda.

He was a colonel in the Egyptian army but joined the mujahideen fighting to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan.

He is also suspected of teaching militants to use explosives and training some of the 11 September hijackers.

He has been linked to the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. The US further accuses him of training the Somali fighters who killed 18 US servicemen in Mogadishu in 1993.

In 1987, Egypt accused Adel - whose real name is Muhammad Ibrahim Makkawi - of trying to establish a military wing of the militant Islamic group al-Jihad, and of trying to overthrow the government.

Abu Mohammed al-Masri:
Also Egyptian, he is frequently believed to use the name Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and to be about 40 years old.

He ran al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, including the al-Farooq camp near Kandahar.

He is also believed to have been involved in the East Africa embassy bombings.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith:

Abu Ghaith: Stripped of Kuwaiti citizenship

Nominal al-Qaeda spokesman, Abu Ghaith is a Kuwaiti and believed to be in his mid-30s.

A former religious studies teacher, he left Kuwait in 2000.

He was stripped of his citizenship after an appearance on Qatar-based al-Jazeera television in which he vowed retaliation for US air strikes against Afghanistan.

Bin Laden can be seen poking fun at him in one of the videotapes released since 11 September.

Thirwat Salah Shirhata:
Also Egyptian, Shirhata is al-Zawahri's deputy in Egyptian Islamic Jihad group.

He has received two death sentences in absentia in Egypt for alleged terrorist activities.

Abu Musab Zarqawi:
Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian also known as Ahmed al-Khalayleh, has been sentenced to death in his own country for planning bombings.

The head of Germany's international counter-terrorism unit, Hans-Josef Beth, has warned that he is trained in the use of toxins and could be planning an attack on Europe.

He is believed to have travelled extensively since the 11 September attacks, including in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

In February 2003, during an address to the United Nations Security Council, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Mr Zarqawi had been given safe haven in Iraq.

Mr Powell alleged that members of Mr Zarqawi's group connected with al-Qaeda had been operating freely in Baghdad for many months.


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Pakistani authorities say they arrested him in the town of Rawalpindi on 1 March 2003.

The US had increased the reward for his capture to $25m.

The US authorities believe the 37-year-old Kuwaiti is a leading figure in the al-Qaeda network and helped to plan the 11 September attacks.

They accuse him of working with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who co-ordinated the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 which killed six people.

He has also been indicted in the US on charges that he was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to blow up American airliners over the Pacific - the so-called Manila plot.

Abu Zubaydah:

Abu Zubaydah, who is thought to have served as Bin Laden's field commander, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002

The Americans describe him as a "key terrorist recruiter and operational planner and member of Osama Bin Laden's inner circle".

The 30-year-old, who is believed to have been born to Palestinian parents in Saudi Arabia, is also known as Zayn al-Abidin Mohammed Husain and Abd al-Hadi al-Wahab but has used dozens of other aliases.

He has strong connections with Jordanian and Palestinian groups and was sentenced to death in his absence by a Jordanian court for his role in a thwarted plot to bomb hotels there during millennium celebrations.

US officials believe he is also connected to a plan to blow up the US embassy in Sarajevo, and a plot to attack the US embassy in Paris.

Ramzi Binalshibh

Captured in Pakistan in September 2002, the Yemeni national is allegedly one of the most senior al-Qaeda members to be arrested.

Binalshibh, who is 30, is said to have become a key member of the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, after seeking asylum there in the late 1990s.

According to officials, he met Mohammed Atta, the leader of the Hamburg cell and one of the alleged masterminds of the 11 September attacks, through a local mosque in 1997.

Intelligence officials say Mr Binalshibh may also have been involved in the attacks on the USS Cole and a Tunisian synagogue

Mohammed Haydar Zammar

US investigators believe that Syrian-born Mohammed Haydar Zammar recruited Mohammed Atta - the suspected ringleader of the 11 September suicide attacks.

Zammar, a German citizen, was arrested in Morocco after he left Germany in the wake of the attacks. Moroccan authorities later sent him to Syria.

Zammar is believed to have been in Hamburg with Atta and other members of Atta's cell - including hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.

German authorities have said they interviewed him after the 11 September attacks.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri:

In November 2002, the US said it had captured a senior al-Qaeda member, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri - believed to be leader of the network's operations in the Gulf.

Mr Nashiri, also known as Abu Asim al-Makki, is suspected of masterminding the October 2000 attack on the American warship USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, in which 17 sailors died.

US authorities have also linked Mr Nashiri to the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Anas al-Liby:

Anas al-Liby was one of the FBI's list of most-wanted. He was captured in eastern Afghanistan in January 2002.

The 38-year-old Libyan had been living in the UK and is linked by the Americans to the US embassy bombings in Africa.

Omar al-Faruq:

Omar al-Faruq, a Kuwaiti, was arrested in June.

He had been living in a village an hour from Jakarta in Indonesia where he had married a local woman and seemed to have blended successfully into the community.

Investigators fear that men like al-Faruq have been linking al-Qaeda to other militant Islamic groups in south-east Asia.

Mohsen F:
In November 2002, security officials in Kuwait arrested the man thought to be a senior member of al-Qaeda.

Identified only as Mohsen F, a 21-year-old Kuwaiti national, local press said he had been plotting to blow up a hotel in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

On trial:

Zacarias Moussaoui

Zacarias Moussaoui, a 34-year-old French citizen of Moroccan origin, is charged with six counts of conspiracy and faces a possible death sentence for alleged involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington.

So far, he is the only person charged in the US in connection with the 11 September attacks.

He is believed by US officials to be the "20th hijacker" - prevented from carrying out his mission only because he was already under arrest.

Mr Moussaoui has denied involvement in the attacks although he has admitted to being a member of the al-Qaeda network.

His trial has been delayed until June 2003.


Mounir al-Motassadek:

Mounir al-Motassadek, a Moroccan, was the first man to stand trial over the 11 September attacks.

In February 2003 a Hamburg court found him guilty of involvement in the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

He was convicted of being an accessory to more than 3,000 counts of murder and of being a member of a terrorist organisation.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison - the maximum penalty that could be imposed for the charges.

Throughout the trial Motassadek insisted he was innocent - that he knew nothing about the attacks, and knew the hijackers only socially.

Richard Reid:

British-born Richard Reid was sentenced to life in prison in January 2003 after being found guilty of trying to blow up an airliner with explosives hidden in his shoes

During his trial Reid - the so-called "shoe bomber" - changed his plea to guilty on all eight charges against him and declared himself a follower of Osama Bin Laden.

Speaking during sentencing, Reid told the court: "I admit my actions ... I do not apologise for my actions and I am still at war with your country."

Mr Reid was arrested after a disturbance on an American Airlines Paris-to-Miami flight on 22 December 2001.

Despite Reid's pledges of support to Osama Bin Laden, his defence team made the case that he was acting alone and was not truly affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Believed dead:

Mohammed Atef:

Mohammed Atef, also known as Abu Hafez, was believed to be one of Osama Bin Laden's most important lieutenants and the military commander of al-Qaeda.

Before joining forces with Bin Laden, Atef was an Egyptian policeman and member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that he was believed to have been killed in the US bombing campaign in Afghanistan in November 2001.

Ali Qaed Senyan al-Harthi:

Also known as Abu Ali, he is believed to be one of six al-Qaeda suspects killed by a US operation in Yemen in November 2002.

He was a prime target in the US counter-terrorism campaign because of his suspected involvement in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole ship in Yemen's Aden harbour.

Info From BBC News

[Edited on 13-4-2004 by Krisboton]

posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 10:59 AM
isn't anyone going to say anything?

posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 11:06 AM
Its just a copy and paste job off the BBC, u could hav just pasted a link. You've actually broken copyright laws. Nevermind.

You have alteast made some comments.

posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 11:24 AM
it does say at the bottom info from BBC News...

posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 11:30 AM
I'll bet that if one searched this site, they would find something like this already, or at least half of these guys names mentioned on here..

posted on Apr, 14 2004 @ 07:08 AM
Its still copyright infringement even if you put the BBC's name on it. You don't have their permission. You can only link legally.

posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 10:03 AM

Moussaoui 9/11 appeal rejected
March 22, 2005

THE US Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by accused September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, who argued he cannot get a fair trial without access to al-Qaeda captives who could help his defence.
The judges let stand a federal appeals court ruling that allowed US prosecutors to seek the death penalty and said Moussaoui's lawyers could not directly question the captives who could provide testimony favourable to his defence.

Instead of direct access, the appeals court ruled the defence must rely on US government-prepared summaries of the interrogation statements from the al-Qaeda captives.


posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 11:11 PM
Sure the Beeb won't mind - they've got other issues at the mo.

Hmmm depends how you define 'members'





William Kristol?

Norman Podhoretz?

Elliot Abrams?

Robert Kagan?

Various CIA handlers?

Strange that since his Oh So Timely intervention in the US Election where he made a very useful pro-Bush contribution Ol' Ossy's been very quiet.

Couldn't be he's part of the Bush strategy, kept in a box somewhere and rolled out when useful could it?

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