Identifying the five most wanted Islamist terrorists

Could you recognize the most powerful terrorists in the world? Photo: Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan (AP)

WASHINGTON, August 19, 2013 — Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Ibrahim al-Asiri, Hassan Nasrallah and Abu Dua are the elite of the elite in the world of terrorists. They wield the most influence on the ground and are more effective at making things happen than some of the best politicians. They command both military power and soft power, spreading death and destruction in the name of God.

These five men will stop at nothing to bring their vision of a worldwide caliphate into reality. As obscure as the concept of a caliphate is to most of the world, the faces and stories of those advocating that view are even more obscure, which is alarming.

It has never been more important to know who the leaders of terrorism are than it is today, 13 years after we launched the “war on terror.” In those 13 years, thousands of American and international soldiers have fought and died in the shadows, protecting the free world from a select few imposing their corrupt, twisted version of a peaceful religion on the world.

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahiri (YouTube)

Ayman is an Islamic theologian and the successor of Osama bin Laden as leader of al-Qaeda. He is the former leader of the terrorist group Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and he has planned and facilitated terrorist attacks in North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A physician by trade, he was bin Laden’s personal physician. Nicknamed bin Laden’s “lieutenant,” al-Zawahiri has been referred to as the operational and strategic commander since 2009. The U.S. State Department has offered a $25,000,000 reward for information leading to his capture, the most for any terrorist at large. 


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 Mullah Mohammad Omar

Mullah Mohammad Omar (wikimedia)

Omar is the spiritual leader of the Taliban and acted as Afghanistan’s de facto head of state from 1996 until the U.S. invasion in 2001. He is wanted for providing shelter to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders leading up to the September 11th attacks. His physical appearance is almost unknown although he is missing one eye. He has allied with the pro-Taliban military leaders in the region, most notably Jalaluddin Haqqani. A man claiming to be Omar sent a letter to Barrack Obama in 2011 expressing interest in peace talks. He is believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan.

Ibrahim al-Asiri

Ibrahim al-Asiri

Personally groomed by Bin laden, al-Asiri is considered the lead bomb maker for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He has been tied to the bombs used by the 2009 Christmas Day Bomber, the 2010 Cargo plane Bomb Plot and the May 8th terror bomb plot that would have incorporated the use of surgically implanted improvised explosive devices. These devices are the cutting edge of his technology and would be able to pass almost undetected through x-ray machines. He also created the explosives used by his brother in a suicide attack aiming to kill the Saudi minister of the interior. Reports say he may have been seriously wounded in a drone strike in August 2013 but nothing has been confirmed.

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah (AP)

Nasrallah is the third Secretary General of the Lebanon based Hezbollah paramilitary organization. He assumed the position after the second Secretary General, Abbas al-Musawi was assassinated by Israel. Under his leadership Hezbollah acquired rockets to attack Israel. He lead Hezbollah during the Israel-Lebanon conflict of 2000-2006. In May 2013, Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah, founded on Shi’ite Islam, is fighting for the Bashir al-Assad regime. He reportedly survived an assassination attempt in 2008, although he denies that the attempt occurred. 

Abu Dua/Baghdadi

Abu Dua

Abu Dua is the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq since 2010 and is believed to be in Syria. He is in charge of managing and directing large-scale operations in Iraq and has claimed responsibility for the Umm al-Qara mosque bombing in Baghdad. He announced the incorporation of Jabhat al-Nursa into the Islamic Sate of Iraq; however, the leader of al-Nursa disputed that merger. The decision was appealed to al-Zawahiri, who sided against Dua. He recently announced the “Breaking the Walls” campaign targeted at breaking imprisoned jihadis out of state prisons. There is a $10,000,000 reward for information leading to his capture and his death. Only al-Zawahiri has a higher price tag.


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Andrew Scarpitta

Andrew Scarpitta is a young, conservative writer who found himself in New York on 9/11 and on Boylston Street, Boston when the Marathon Bombs exploded.  A studen of History and Political Science, Andrew has experience working with WMD and Middle East Politcy for the Department of Defense and a prominent DC Think Tank.  Andrew's future includes a career in intelligence. 

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