Ramadan Shalah (born February 1, 1958) is the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Shalah was born as Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah (Arabic: رمضان عبد الله محمد شلح) on 1 February 1958 in Shuja'iyya, also called Gaza Sejaiya district, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City. At the time, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control. Shalah was born into the middle of that occupation, in 1958. Egypt, since 1949, had recognized an "All-Palestine Government". But in 1959, a year after Shalah's birth, the president of Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser, annulled the All-Palestine government by decree. In 1967, Gaza came under Israeli control as a result of the Six Day War.
Shalah earned a Ph.D. in Banking and Economics from the University of Durham in England. Professor Sami Al-Arian, who later pleaded guilty to helping PIJ and was sentenced to 57 months in prison, helped bring him to Al-Arian's university in Tampa where he then taught as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, and where Al-Arian appointed him the head of WISE. He left in 1995 to head the Islamic Jihad movement. Al-Arian said he was shocked to learn Shalah was "anything other than a scholar."
Palestinian Islamic Jihad activity
Shalah took control as secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) after the assassination of the former leader, Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta in 1995. Shalah was listed as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" under United States law on November 27, 1995.
Along with fellow PIJ member Abd Al Aziz Awda, Shalah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa, Florida, on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges of alleged involvement in racketeering activities for the designated international terrorist organization known as Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Shalah is wanted for conspiracy to conduct the affairs of the PIJ through a pattern of racketeering activities such as bombings, murders, extortion, and money laundering.
For that indictment, Shalah then became one of six alleged and indicted terrorist fugitives among the second and most recent group of indicted fugitives to be added to the United States FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list on February 24, 2006, along with Abd Al Aziz Awda.
2014 rocket attack
- FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists wanted poster of Shalah
- Rewards for Justice wanted poster of Shalah from US State Dept., similar to the preceding