Friday, May 10, 2013

Follower of Mohammed al Zawahiri dies in attack in Mali

Abu Obeida Sharif Khattab can be seen in the lower left foreground of this photo. Mohammed al Zawahiri is in the middle. To Zawahiri's left is Sheikh Adel Shehato.
Members of al Qaeda's Shumukh al Islam forum announced on May 4 that four Egyptian jihadists died in a "martyrdom-seeking" operation in Mali, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. One of the Egyptians, Abu Obeida Sharif Khattab, had previously appeared in videos with Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri.

The Shumukh al Islam forum participants apparently did not provide any details of the attack. The same day as their announcement, however, four terrorists were killed during an attack near Gao, which is where Khattab died. Two Malian soldiers were killed and several others were wounded.
The Malian army said that a suspicious individual riding a motorcycle was at first stopped. Three militants in a car then opened fire on the Malian soldiers, according to the Associated Press. "That was when the jihadist on the motorcycle set off the bomb that he was wearing," explained Lieutenant Colonel Souleymane Maiga, who heads public relations for the Malian army.

Sharif Khattab was a member of Shumukh al Islam who posted as "Abu Obeida al-Maghribi," according to his fellow forum members. Khattab had tried to join the jihad in the Sinai, Yemen, and Iraq, but was unsuccessful. One member of the forum said that Khattab did make his way to Libya after being released from prison. It is not clear why Khattab was imprisoned.

"After Allah graced him with coming out of the apostate prisons, and the market of jihad opened in Libya, he quickly went there, and Allah did not will that he complete his journey there," a forum member posted. "Then he returned with his determination higher and his longing for jihad increased, until Allah destined him to emigrate."

"After the French invasion of the new home of Islam in Azawad, our brother fought a fight deserving of praise from his brothers, until he was granted martyrdom," another forum member wrote, according to SITE's translation.

Read the full article at Long War Journal:
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