Abu Anas al-Shami

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Abu Anas al-Shami (Arabic: أبو أنس الشامي‎) was known as Omar Yusef Juma'a (Arabic: عمر يوسف جمعة‎) prior to joining Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Jama'at al-Tawhid wal Jihad group in Iraq.

Abu Anas Al Shami was a Palestinian cleric, teacher, writer, and jihadist born in Kuwait. Originally from the Palestinian West Bank town of Yabroud, Abu Anas obtained an Islamic studies degree at Madinah University in Saudi Arabia.

In the mid-1990s he went to Bosnia-Herzegovina to teach Islam in towns and refugee camps. He then returned to Jordan and became a preacher in the neighborhood of Sweileh.[1] In the late 1990s, the Jordanian officials shut down an Islamic center that al-Shami had established in Amman on the grounds that it was promoting a fanatical interpretation of Islam.

In 2003, al-Shami joined Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in north-eastern Iraq. He was appointed to the advisory council of al-Tawheed wal-Jihad and soon became Zarqawi's second in command. He was both spiritual advisor to the group and directed many of its attacks and battles against American and Iraqi forces. In a letter he wrote about the first siege of Fallujah, Sheikh Yusef describes how his 300 mujhideen fought-off over 2,000 U.S. Marines.[2]

Abu Anas al-Shami was killed by an American missile strike against his car in September 2004 (the exact date is disputed) near Abu Ghraib,[3] when he had been sent by Zarqawi to the Sadr City area of Baghdad. A eulogy to him was written by Zarqawi's first spiritual mentor, Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi, and appeared on the Tawhed website which is run by Maqdisi's organisation on behalf of al-Qaeda.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with Enaam Arnout, Oxford Federal Prison, Wisconsin, May 2005
  2. ^ Letter Signed by Omar Yousef, May 2004
  3. ^ The Challenge of Terrorism and Religious Extremism in Jordan, Center for Contemporary Conflict, US Navy