WASHINGTON, September 9, 2013 – Al Qaeda has evolved into a highly decentralized organization with multiple franchises and affiliates.
In the terrorist deck of cards, the ‘Clubs’ are the highest ranking members of Al Qaeda affiliates, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Arabina Peninsula.
These men oversee general theatres of war, suply the groups with weapons and, in many cases, act as spiritual leaders for these islamic groups.
Ace: 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.
King: Wa’el Hamze Julaidan
Wa’el is an original founder of al-Qaeda, established in 1988 and one of the first to bring Islamic terror to the shores of the United States. He served as president of the Tuscon Islamic Center in Arizona from 1984-1985 until he left to fight the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
Considered a master of illegal arms smuggling he served as the group’s chief of logistics. He was convicted in the 1998 conspiracy to bomb American embassies in Africa. He was executive director of the Rabat trust, a front foundation for funding terrorists abroad. Most recently he channeled money to a Balkans based extremist group with ties to al-Qaeda
Queen: Abu Dua/Baghdadi
Abu 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 that merger was disputed by the leader of al-Nursa.
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 leading to his capture and his death. Only Al-Zawahiri has a higher price tag.
Jack: Abu Mohammad al-Golani
al-Golani is the head of Jabhat al-Nursa Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and he likely leads it’s majlis ash-Shura. Al-Golani is a pseudonym, referencing the Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Israel since the Six Day War. Little is known about him other than his leadership of Al-Nursa. He is commanding al-Nursa’s civil war campaign against Bashir Al-Assad in Syria. He appealed the incorporation of Al-Nursa into Abu Dua’s Islamic State of Iraq to Al-Zawahiri who supported his defense. He currently has a projected 6,000 militants under his command.
10. Nasser Al Wahishi
Al Wahishi is a Yemeni citizen and is the current leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He was the former secretary of Bin Laden until his departure and arrest in 2001 by Iran. He was extradited to Yemen where he escaped in 2006.
A veteran of the battle of Tora Boa, he has been the acting leader of AQAP since the death of Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi. His power is derived mostly through his close proximity to Osama bin Laden. He is among the most wanted fugitives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where he is believed to be fighting against the crackdown of AQAP.
9. Ramzi Mowafi
A former physician of Bin Laden, Mowafi is the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula’s military wing, Ansar al-Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula. He commands over 6,000 men and is reportedly planning cross border raids into Israel and Egypt proper.
He is an explosions expert who used to set up a chemical weapons shop in Tora Bora with Bin Laden. He escaped prison in January 2011 when Mubarak was ousted and police forces withdrew from the area. He is reported to be providing military training to militants in the Sinai.
8. Adam Gadahn
Adam is an American citizen who is a senior operative, cultural interpreter, media advisor and cultural interpreter for al-Qaeda. From California he converted to Islam in 1995 and moved to Pakistan in 1998. He served as a senior advisor to Bin Laden and has made and appeared in many al-Qaeda propaganda videos. He has urged American Muslims to buy weapons at gun shows and carry out random acts of violence to spread fear in America.
He has spoken out in support of Nadal Malik Hassan and has tried to recruit Muslims from suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit and foreigners studying in the United States through online videos.
7. Matiur Rehman
Matiur is a Pakistani militant who is al-Qaeda’s planning director. He was involved in the capture of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl. He is believed to have close contact to Al-Zawahiri and has been implicated in 2006 plans to destroy aircraft using homemade liquid explosives.
US Counterterrorism are not convinced of his importance however Pakistan has placed a 10,000,000 rupee price on his head and is considered one of Pakistan’s most wanted.
6. Mustafa Setmarian Masar
Mustafa is a former associate of Bin Laden and is and is widely considered the ‘most articulate exponent of the modern jihad and its most sophisticated strategies. His writings on strategic and political issues made him a unofficial advisor to a wide range of jihadi groups in Afghanistan.
He authored the Global Islamic Resistance Call, where he proposes the next stage of jihad will be characterized by autonomous groups in what he calls “leaderless resistance.” He was held in a Syrian prison until late 2011 where he was released.
His writings have been featured in Inspire magazine.
5. Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah
An Egyptian national, Abdullah is wanted for the 1998 Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. He is on the majlis al shira of al-Qaeda and has helped set up training facilities in Somalia.
One of the original 22 members of the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorist list, his location is unknown although reports indicate that he may be residing in south east Iran, under the protection of the Hamze unit of the Revolutionary Guard.
There is a $5,000,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.
4. Adel bin Abdul-Jalil Batterjee
Indicted on “the golden chain” list of al-Qaeda’s financial backers, Adel is a wealthy Saudi business man and a financer of terrorism. He used the Lajnatt al-Birr Al-Islamiah as a front for the funding and continues to use its successor, the Benevolence International Foundation for similar purposes.
He was designated a terrorist in 2004 and is currently under a worldwide travel ban, financial embargo and a weapons embargo.
3. Husayn Muhammed al-Umari
He is wanted for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 830 which, en route from Japan to Hawaii, killed one and wounded 16 others. He is believed to have prepared the device.
There is a $5,000,000 reward for his conviction.
2. Abdelkarim Hussein Mohamed al-Nasser
Mohammed is indicted in Virginia for the bombing of the Khobar Towers military housing complex in Saudi Atabia.
The US State Department offers $5,000,000 for information leading to his apprehension.
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