Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud

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Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud
Born (1970-04-20) 20 April 1970 (age 44)
Meftah, Algeria
Allegiance Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Rank Emir
Battles/wars Islamic insurgency in Algeria (2002–present)

Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud (born 20 April 1970), a.k.a. Abdelmalek Droukdel, is the emir, or leader, of the Algerian Islamic militant group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), formerly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

Early life and education[edit]

Wadoud was born in Meftah, Algeria on 20 April 1970.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Blida before joining the insurgency in 1996.[2][3]

Militant commander[edit]

Wadoud returned to Algeria after fighting in the Afghan civil war, and joined the GSPC.[4] Wadoud was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's commander in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui.[5][6] His mentor was Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.[7] After the killing of Zarqawi in 2006, Wadoud published a statement in a website and stated "O infidels and apostates, your joy will be brief and you will cry for a long time... we are all Zarqawi."[8]

Under Wadoud's leadership the GSPC sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. In September 2006, it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007, the group officially changed its name to the "Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb."[9] Wadoud played a significant role in this merge.[4] However, the local leaders of the organization such as Wadoud began to pursue much more independent activities and were distanced from al-Qaeda in the last quarter of 2012.[10]

Wadoud ousted Mokhtar Belmokhtar from the organization in late 2012 for Belmokhtar's "fractious behaviour".[11] Journalists discovered a document attributed to Wadoud and dated 20 July 2012 in Timbuktu that criticized militants for implementing Islamic law too quickly in Mali. He believed the destruction of shrines would provoke Western governments to intervene in Mali.[12]

Designation[edit]

In December 2007, the United States Department of the Treasury imposed financial sanctions and froze Abdel Wadoud's assets under Executive Order 13224.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, Commander of the Algerian Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat (GSPC) Global Terror Alert, 26 September 2005.
  2. ^ Ragtag Insurgency Gains a Lifeline From Al Qaeda New York Times, 1 July 2008
  3. ^ Abdel Bari Atwan (4 February 2008). The Secret History of Al Qaeda. University of California Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-520-25561-6. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Jacinto, Leela (27 September 2010). "Key figures in al Qaeda's North African branch". CIMIC. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  5. ^ New chief for Algeria's Islamists BBC, 7 September 2004
  6. ^ Andrew Hansen; Lauren Vriens (21 July 2009). "Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb". CIMIC. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Belkadi, Boubker (13 December 2007). "Ruthless chief, head of Al-Qaeda's NAfrica branch". Middle East Online (Algiers). Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Trabelsi, Habib (9 June 2006). "Zarqawi death 'relief' for rival rebels: experts". Lebanon Wire. AFP. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Salafist Group for Call and Combat Announces its New Name as al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb SITE Institute, 26 January 2007
  10. ^ Johny, Stanly (9 January 2013). "Waiting for a deluge". Business Standard (New Delhi). Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Morgan, Andy (20 January 2013). "'Mr Marlboro' lands a seismic blow". The Independent. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Doyle, Mark (2013-02-26). "Mali Islamists warned about Sharia in al-Qaeda 'manifesto'". BBC News. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  13. ^ U.S. freezes assets of Algerian over al Qaeda ties Reuters, 4 December 2007
  14. ^ "Terrorism: What You Need to Know About U.S. Sanctions" (Press release). U.S. Department of Treasury. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.