Atiyah Abd al-Rahman

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Atiyah Abd Al Rahman
DiedAugust 22, 2011[2] (aged 41-42)

Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (Arabic: عطية عبد الرحمن; 1969 – August 22, 2011), born Jamal Ibrahim Ashtiwi al Misrati,[3] was reported by the US State Department[4] 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. After his death he was described in Foreign Policy as a renaissance man for "combining both strategic and ideological savvy".[5]

Atiyah Abd al-Rahman is thought[6] to be the "Atiyah" who wrote a commanding letter[7] to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in December 2005.

The State Department announcement[citation needed] said that Abd Al Rahman:

  • Was a Libyan in his late 30s.
  • 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.[8] 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."[9] About the massacres that were committed during the Algerian Civil War, Atiyah says: "There are those who [...] say [...] the officers did that, France [did that]; etc. We are just covering up [the truth to exonerate] the people of Islam, [but] all these massacres occurred in the last days of Zitouni and days of Antar Zouabri. All of them [were committed by] the Armed Islamic Group".[10]

He was killed in Pakistan by a CIA predator drone strike on August 22, 2011.[11][12][13] Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri confirmed the death of Abd al-Rahman in a video on December 1, 2011.[14] Abd al-Rahman was previously reported dead in October 2010.[15]

The State Department's Rewards for Justice offered up to US$1 million for information about him.[4] However, he was removed from the list after he was killed.[16]

Al-Qaeda leader Atiyyatullah Al-Libi's advice was published in Turkistan Islamic Party's magazine "Islamic Turkistan".[17] Issue 19 of the magazine "Islamic Turkistan" cited and reprinted Al Qaeda member Atiyatallah al Libi's (عطية الله الليبي) "Book of "Complete Works" (كتاب الأعمال الكاملة) page 818 where he called India, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, East Turkestan, the Caucasus, Balkans, Central Asia, Southern Europe and Al Andalus as "occupied Muslim lands" by the "infidels hand" and "infidel governments", naming America as the "original infidel" enemy, and called for them to be all reconquered by the Muslims through jihad.[18] Ahmed Refai Taha and Atiyah Abd al-Rahman were shown in an Al-Qaeda video released by Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called "Three Sheikhs of Jihad"[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Treasury Targets Key Al-Qa'ida Funding and Support Network Using Iran as a Critical Transit Point".
  2. ^ Al-Qaida's number two killed in Pakistan
  3. ^ "Al Qaeda announces death of Atiyah Abd al Rahman | FDD's Long War Journal". December 2011.
  4. ^ a b Wanted poster on Atiyah Archived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Rewards for Justice Program, US Department of State
  5. ^ Christopher Anzalone (9 September 2011), "Al-Qaeda loses its “renaissance man”", Foreign Policy. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  6. ^ Washington Post article on the Atiyah-to-Zarqawi letter
  7. ^ Atiyah letter to Zarqawi Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, English translation by United States Military Academy
  8. ^ "Al-Qaeda's New Leadership". The Washington Post. 2006. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  9. ^ McCants, William (2015). The ISIS Apocalypse: the history, strategy, ad doomsday vision of the Islamic State. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 14. ISBN 978-1-250-08090-5.
  10. ^ التنافس بين القاعدة وتنظيم الدولة في الساحل والصحراء. 2017. هناك من يجلس على الإنترنت ويتكلم ويقول بأن الضباط من فعل ذلك وفرنسا وغير ذلك من الأمور، ونحن نتستر على أهل الإسلام، هذه المجازر جميعها ارتُكبت في آخر أيام الزيتوني وفي أيام عنتر زوابري، وكلها مجازر الجماعة الإسلامية المسلحة.
  11. ^ Al Qaeda No. 2 Atiyah Abd al-Rahman Killed in Pakistan
  12. ^ Matt Apuzzo (August 27, 2011). "US official: Al-Qaida's No. 2 killed in Pakistan". PJ Star. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  13. ^ Mark Mazetti (August 27, 2011). "C.I.A. Drone Is Said to Kill Al Qaeda's No". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  14. ^ Al-Qaeda says it kidnapped Warren Weinstein in Pakistan, BBC, December 1, 2011
  15. ^ "'Million dollar' Al Qaeda leader killed in drone attack in Pakistan". Hindustan Times. October 9, 2010. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Şeyh Atiyyetullah El Libi'nin Türkistan İslam Cemaati eski emiri Abdulşekur Damolla'ya Nasihatleri | Ümmet-i İslam | Bağımsız Enformasyon ve Medya Portalı". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  18. ^ "من أقوال العلماء" (PDF). تركستان الإسلامية. No. العدد 19. April 2016. p. 57. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-25.
  19. ^ "New video message from al-Qā'idah's Dr. Ayman al-Ẓawāhirī: "Carrying the Weapon of the Martyr, Episode 4: The Three Shaykhs #2"". Jihadology. February 18, 2017.

External links[edit]