Atiyah Abd al-Rahman

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Atiyah Abd Al Rahman
Born c. 1970
Libya
Died August 22, 2011[1]
North Waziristan, Pakistan
Nationality Libyan

Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (Arabic: عطية عبد الرحمن‎, 1970 – August 22, 2011), born Jamal Ibrahim Ashtiwi al Misrati,[2] was reported by the US State Department[3] to be a senior member of al-Qaeda and a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Ansar al-Sunna. His name may be rendered in English as Atiyah Abdur-rahman or Atiyah Abdul-Rahman or in other ways.

Atiyah Abd al-Rahman is thought[4] to be the "Atiyah" who wrote a commanding letter[5] to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in December 2005.

The State Department announcement said that Abd Al Rahman:

  • Was a Libyan in his early 40s (which puts his date of birth roughly at 1970).
  • Was based in Iran, representing al-Qaeda to other Islamist terrorist groups.
  • Was appointed to that role by Osama bin Laden.
  • Met bin Laden while still in his teens.
  • Fled the Republic of the Congo alongside bin Laden as recently as 2001.

Atiyah had volunteered to travel to Afghanistan to fight against its Soviet occupiers in the 1980s, while he was still a teenager.[6] He was reported to have met and served under Osama bin Laden at that time. The Washington Post reported that another prominent Libyan exile, Noman Benotman, he was sent to Algeria in the 1990s to serve as an envoy to a group they said was then known as the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). He told the Washington Post that the GIA was suspicious of him, held him captive for months, and were considering killing him. He escaped with other captives, after five months of captivity, and, according to Benotman, "He had a very bad experience, and I think is still having nightmares about it."

He was killed in Pakistan by a CIA predator drone strike on August 22, 2011.[7][8][9] Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri confirmed the death of Abd al-Rahman in a video on December 1, 2011.[10] Abd al-Rahman was previously reported dead in October 2010.[11]

The State Department's Rewards for Justice offered up to US$1 million for information about him.[12] However, his wanted poster was removed after he was killed.[3]

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