Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh

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Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh
Ibrahim al-Rubaish.jpg
Born Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad al-Rubaish
(1979-07-07)7 July 1979
Buraidah, Saudi Arabia
Died 12 April 2015(2015-04-12) (aged 35)
Hadhramaut Governorate, Yemen
Cause of death Drone attack
Criminal status Repatriated in 2006 and placed on the Saudi most wanted list in 2009. Became senior leader in AQAP, killed in drone strike

Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad al-Rubaish (July 7, 1979 – April 12, 2015) was a terrorist and a senior leader of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. He was released into the custody of Saudi Arabian authorities and then escaped in 2006. He became AQAP's mufti (expounder of Islamic law).[1]

Guantanamo detention[edit]

Al-Rubaish was captured near the Pakistan-Afghan border and transferred to Saudi Arabia on December 13, 2006.[2]

On February 3, 2009 Saudi security officials published a new list of Saudi suspected terrorists. Al-Rubaish was one of 11 of the 85 men on this list who was a former Guantanamo captive.[2]

AQAP's mufti[edit]

In November 2009 a research paper from the think tank The Jamestown Foundation asserted that Al-Rubaish was now a mufti for Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[3][4]

Call for assassination of Saudi royals[edit]

The paper's author Murad Batal Al-Shishani asserted that Al-Rubaish had produced an audio tape Al-Qaida had released in September attempting to justify a recent attempt to assassinate a senior member of the Saudi Royal Family. The paper asserted Al-Rubaish had published a book criticizing Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, a critic of al Qaida's attacks on September 11, 2001. It also claimed that he had released an additional audio tape in November 2009, criticizing the Saudi government's introduction of mixed sex education for children.

Repatriation and escape[edit]

ISN 192 -- Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh's Guantanamo detainee assessment.

Al-Rubaish was transferred to Saudi Arabia on December 13, 2006, then escaped from custody and joined AQAP in Yemen, becoming a senior figure in the group.[3][5]

Call for jihad[edit]

In early 2013 Al-Rubaish called for jihad against Americans, saying "It is my duty to spur the Muslims to kill the Americans, to get them out of the Muslims' land", also expressing hope that Sunnis would unite in a war against Shiite Iran.[6]

U.S. terrorist designation and reward[edit]

In October 2014, the U.S. State Department's Rewards for Justice program opened a US$5 million reward for Al-Rubaish's location.[7] In December 2014, he was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.[8]


AQAP released a statement in April 2015 announcing that al-Rubaish had been killed with other unnamed individuals in a drone strike near Mukalla on 12 April 2015. It is believed that the drone strike was carried out by the United States.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b Hood, Jay W. (Major General) (November 30, 2005). "Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh-". JTF GTMO Detainee Assessment. US Department of Defense. p. 3. Retrieved April 15, 2015 – via The Guantánamo Docket-The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b "Former GITMO detainee now al-Qaida brass". United Press International. 2009-12-04. Archived from the original on 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  4. ^ Murad Batal Al-shishani (2009-11-25). "Ibrahim al-Rubaish: New Religious Ideologue of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia Calls for Revival of Assassination Tactic". The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 2009-12-06. 
  5. ^ a b "Yemen al-Qaida branch says top cleric killed in drone attack". Associated Press. 14 April 2015. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Memri March 12, 2013
  7. ^ "Reward Offers for Information on Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Leaders". U.S. Department of State - Rewards for Justice. 14 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Terrorist Designations of Ajand Misr and Ibrahim al-Rubaysh". U.S. Department of State. 18 December 2014. 

External links[edit]