Abdelkader Mokhtari

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Abdelkader Mokhtari (kunya: Abu el-Ma'ali, The Gendarme)[1] is an Arab commander who became a "sacred legend" for the Bosnian mujahideen in the Bosnian War.[2][1]

Life[edit]

The British recruiter Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was friends with Mokhtarim related that he was "a good-hearted person...a hard worker, a lion in fighting...a good brother - but he's too young and naive".[3]

Bosnia[edit]

An Algerian, Mokhtari came to the battle with experience from his time in the Armed Islamic Group.[1]

In London, England within the Finsbury Park Mosque, Haroon Rashid Aswat under the direction of Abu Hamza al-Masri had created a fighting troop of 200 British men of Pakistani origin. In November 1994, he wrote to President Alija Izetbegović requesting the release of two Mujahideen from an HVO prison, pointing out that "our brothers are nothing more than any other ordinary mujahid in the Bosnian army", and noting that not a single crime or instance of looting rested on his foreign volunteers.

Evan Kohlmann has stated that Mokhtari was serving as second-in-command of a Zenica battalion, under the command of Anwar Shaaban with Fateh Kamal as his right-hand man in 1995,[3] but Kohlmann has also stated that Kamal spent his time visiting sixteen different countries during that time.[4]

As of 1996, some sources suggested that he was believed to have led the 3rd Corps, known as the Gazi'a Force, an Arabic term for retribution, which incorporated formerly independent mujahideen units into a single force.[5] Other reports suggest he only led the training portion of the Corps, known as U-Force.[6]

Karim Said Atmani fought under his command.[2]

A 1997 French report suggested that he had managed to keep a cache of SA-7 missiles after the Dayton Accords, due to his protection and status with President Izetbegović.[3]

In 1998, the French government accused him of smuggling explosives to an Egyptian group wanting to destroy American targets in Germany.[7]

Later activities[edit]

In 1999, the United States suspended assistance to the Bosnian Federation Army, demanding that the country first hand over Mokhtari to their control.[8] While Izetbegović initially refused, he relented and agreed to expel Mokhtari from the country, rather than deport him to the United States. The magazine Globus claimed that Izetbegović's son Bakir Izetbegović was seen in attendance at the farewell party for Mokhtari.[9]

Following his formal expulsion, there were rumors that Mokhtari had remained in Bosnia under a new name with the assistance of the government, or that he had traveled to Afghanistan to link up with al-Qaeda, or that he was imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps.[9]

In 2005, he was interviewed by a Bosnian magazine about the injustice he saw in the trial against Abduladhim Maktouf, a Mujahideen alleged to have been involved in the mistreatment of Croatian prisoners. He noted that he had married a Bosnian wife.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kohlmann, Evan. "Al-Qaeda's Jihad in Europe", p. 62
  2. ^ a b Jacquard, Roland. In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Duke University Press, 2002. pp. 66-70
  3. ^ a b c d Kohlmann, Evan. Global Terror Alert, Abu el-Maali, 2005
  4. ^ Kohlmann, Evan. "Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe", p. 186
  5. ^ Warczakowski, Michal. Foreign Volunteers in Army B&H
  6. ^ Lulu Publishing, "Unheeded Warnings", p. 148
  7. ^ Assyrian International News Agency, Jihadists find convenenient base in Bosnia, 17 August 2005
  8. ^ Craig Pyes, Josh Meyer and William C. Rempel (15 October 2001). "Bosnia – base for terrorism". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 25 May 2010. "After the foiled plot against U.S. bases in Germany, the United States suspended without public explanation a military-aid program to Bosnia in 1999 in an attempt to force the deportation of the Algerian leader of the group, Abdelkader Mokhtari, also known as Abu el Maali." November 2011 Mirror
  9. ^ a b Trifunovic, Darko. International Analyst Network, Al-Qaeda's Global Network and its influence on Western Balkans nations, 29 December 2007