Abdelkader Mokhtari

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


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]


Evan Kohlmann claimed that Mokhtari, an Algerian, came to Bosnia with experience from his time in the Armed Islamic Group.[1] He also 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] Kohlmann has also stated that Kamal spent his time visiting sixteen different countries during that time.[1] Kohlmann later claimed that a 1997 French report suggested that Mokhtari 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 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.[4] Other reports suggest he only led the training portion of the Corps, known as U-Force.[5]

Karim Said Atmani served under his command during the Bosnian war.[2][6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[8]

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]


Mokhtari died in Oran in October 2015. Salat al-Janazah was performed on 26th October 2015.


  1. ^ a b c d Evan Kohlmann (2004). Al Qaida's Jihad in Europe. Berg publishers. pp. 62, 186. ISBN 9781859738023. 
  2. ^ a b Roland Jacquard (2002). In the Name of Osama Bin Laden. Duke University Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780822329916. One of the key members of this network, Said Atmani, also known as Abu Hisham, had Bosnian and Moroccan passports and had been trained in the cells of the Egyptian Gamaa Islamiya and then fought in Bosnia in a battalion of Arab mujahideen under the orders of Abdelkader Mohktari, commander of the seventh brigade of Zenica. 
  3. ^ a b c d Evan Kohlmann. Global Terror Alert, Abu el-Maali, 2005
  4. ^ Michal Warczakowski. "Foreign Volunteers in Army B&H". In spite of its training character, "G" Force can be deployed in combat. The unit's cadre seems to be composed of a group of Saudi phanatics, while most the menpower is drawn from an ABiH recon-sabotage battalion from Vukovije. Abu-Ma'ali was presumably the force's commander (as of 1996). 
  5. ^ Yossef Bodansky. Vaughn S. Forrest. Unheeded Warnings: The Lost Reports of The Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Volume 2: The Perpetrators and the Middle East. Lulu Publishing. p. 148. ISBN 9780979223679. There are unconfirmed reports that Abu Ma'ali is now the commander of the "U force". 
  6. ^ Evan Kohlmann (2006). Bosnian Security after Dayton: New Perspectives. Routledge Press. p. 163. ISBN 9781134148714. One U.S. official referred to Atmani as a 'crazy warrior with a nose so broken and twisted he could sniff around corners.' 
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ a b Trifunovic, Darko. International Analyst Network, Al-Qaeda's Global Network and its influence on Western Balkans nations, 29 December 2007