Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Abdel Aziz Issa Abdul-Mohsin al-Muqrin
Born 1972
Died June 18, 2004(2004-06-18)
Other names


عبد العزيز عيسى عبد المحسن المقرن
Known for al Qaeda member

Abdel Aziz Issa Abdul-Mohsin Al-Muqrin (Listeni/ˈɑːbdəl əˈzz ˈɪsə ɑːlˈmɪɡrɨn/; Arabic: عبد العزيز عيسى عبد المحسن المقرن‎; also Abd al-Aziz al-Moqrin and other transliterations), alias Abu Hajr (ابو هاجر) and Abu Hazim, (1971–2004), was the leader of the mujahedeen group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[1] He reportedly succeeded Yousif Salih Fahad Al-Ayeeri in this role, when the latter was killed in a shootout in May 2003. Al-Muqrin had trained with Osama bin Laden's group in Afghanistan.

Al-Muqrin lived in the Riyadh's Al-Suwaidi District, home to many Saudi extremists.[2][3]


Al-Muqrin was born to middle class parents in Riyadh and was a high school dropout. He married at the age of 19 and had one daughter. He left his wife in about 1988 to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and later fought in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the 1990s he ran guns from Spain to Algeria. Most of his training occurred in extremist camps in Afghanistan. [4]

By the end of the 1990s, he was arrested for extremist activities in Ethiopia and extradited to Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia he served a two-year prison term in Jeddah. His prison sentence had been reduced after he memorized the Qur'an. [4]

He was a skilled propagandist, using the Internet to recruit and deliver his message. Al-Muqrin told an Arabic website in 2003 that, “I have taken it upon myself and I have sworn to purge the Arabian Peninsula of the polytheists. We will fight the Crusaders and Jews in this country. They will not have any security until we evict them from the land of the Two Holy Places and until we evict them from the land of Palestine and the land of the Muslims, which they pillage and usurp from the east to the west.” [4]

Mohsen Al-Awaji, an expert in extremism, said in media interviews in 2004 that Al-Muqrin was “shallow, very simple-minded,” adding that he “has no political brain. He’s got the weapon and no mind to control the weapon.”

Al-Muqrin was No. 1 on Saudi Arabia's second official list[5] of most wanted terrorists, which appeared in December 2003. In 2004 his faction claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against Westerners including the kidnapping and beheading of American contractor Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia. On the same day of the murder of Johnson, Saudi police commandos killed Al-Muqrin in a gun battle at a gas station in downtown Riyadh along with several associates including:

  • Faisal Abdul-Rahman Abdullah al-Dakhil (who was also on the list),
  • Turki bin Fuheid al-Muteiry a/k/a Fawaz al-Nashimi, and
  • Ibrahim bin Abdullah al-Dreiham.[6][7]

Al-Muqrin was responsible for the May 29 attacks at Al-Khobar that left more than 20 people dead and several other operations.

The online magazine Al-Khansaa claims to have been founded by al-Muqrin shortly before his death.[8] In 2004, plans were discovered posted online under al-Muqrin's name containing the itinerary, routes of travel, and security personnel of Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, and plans to assassinate him with RPGs.[8]