Abu Anas al-Shami

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Omar Yusef Juma'a
Native name عمر يوسف جمعة
Born Kuwait
Died September 2004
Abu Ghraib, Iraq
Cause of death Air strike
Other names Abu Anas al-Shami
Alma mater Islamic University of Madinah
Organization Jama'at al-Tawhid wal Jihad

Omar Yusef Juma'a (Arabic: عمر يوسف جمعة‎‎), known as Abu Anas al-Shami (Arabic: أبو أنس الشامي‎‎), was a senior leader in the Jama'at al-Tawhid wal Jihad militant group during the Iraq War.

History[edit]

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 the Islamic University of Madinah 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 an extreme interpretation of Islam.

Iraq[edit]

In 2003, al-Shami joined al-Tawheed wal-Jihad leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in north-eastern Iraq. He was appointed to the advisory council of the group 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 that his 300 mujaheddin had fought-off over 2,000 U.S. Marines in the First Battle of Fallujah.[2] According to Turki al-Binali, Abu Anas was the primary teacher of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.

Death[edit]

Abu Anas al-Shami was killed by an American missilestrike against his car in September 2004[3] (the exact date is disputed) near Abu Ghraib,[4] 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 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. ^ Lawrence Joffe: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - Obituary in The Guardian, 9 June 2006
  4. ^ [dead link] The Challenge of Terrorism and Religious Extremism in Jordan, Center for Contemporary Conflict, US Navy