Sulaiman Al-Alwan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sulayman al-ʿAlwān
Born Sulayman ibn Nāṣir al-ʿAlwān
Other names Abū ʿAbd Allāh
Nationality Saudi Arabian
Ethnicity Arab
Religion Islam
Denomination Salafi/Athari
Movement Salafism
Main interest(s) Hadith

Sulayman al-ʿAlwān or more fully Sulaimān ibn Nāṣir ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-ʿAlwān (Arabic: سليمان بن ناصر بن عبد الله العلوان‎) is a Saudi Arabian Salafi Islamist Scholar and theoretician of militant jihad.[1] He was arrested in 2004 due to his radical beliefs.[2]


Al-Alwan was born in 1969 in Buraidah City, Saudi Arabia, the fourth of nine children. school he learned classics of Islamic theology by heart and attended the teaching circles of various Islamic scholars, before continuing his studies in Medina under Sheikh Hammād Al-Ansārī.[3] As a Scholar, he earned a reputation as a conservative figure. In the 1980s, he distributed leaflets declaring that celebrating those who had memorised the Quran and became Hafiz was a heretical innovation, which led to his imprisonment by Saudi authorities for 18 days.[4] Al-Alwan was banned from teaching in 1997, in 2004 after 7 years of being banned he was once more permitted to give lessons to the general public.


In 2000, he issued a fatwa endorsing the use of suicide bombings against Israel, and in 2001 he supported the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban.[5] Al-Alwan’s mosque in Al-Qassim Province was criticised by moderate Islamic clerics as a "terrorist factory". Among his students was Abdulaziz al-Omari, one of the plane hijackers in the September 11 attacks.[6] After the September 11 attacks, Al-Alwan issued two fatwas (21 September 2001 and 19 October 2001), in which he declared that any Muslim who supported the Americans in Afghanistan was an infidel, and called on all Muslims to support the Afghans and Taliban by any means, including jihad.[5] In January 2002, Alwan and two other radical Saudi clerics, Hamoud al-Aqla al-Shuebi and Ali al-Khudair, wrote a letter to Taliban leader Mullah Omar praising him and referred to him as the Commander of the faithful.[7]


On 31 March 2003, 11 days after the start of the Iraq War, al-Alwan published an open letter in which he called on the Iraqi people to fight the American soldiers and use suicide bombings against them.[5] On 28 April 2004, Saudi authorities arrested al-Alwan,[8] after being held for 9 years without trial, he was released on 5 December 2012.[9]

In October 2013, Alwan was sentenced to a 15-year prison term; charges included questioning the legitimacy of the country’s rulers and financing terrorism by collecting money for Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. With time already served, he was due to spend six more years in jail.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernard Haykel and Saud Al-Sarhan, "The Apocalypse Will Be Blogged", New York Times, September 12, 2006
  2. ^ Re-Reading al-Qaeda Writings of Yusuf al-Ayiri von Roel Meijer, ISIM Review 18, Herbst 2006
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  4. ^ Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism Since 1979 Thomas Hegghammer, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c From 9/11 to Iraq: The Long Arm of Saudi Arabia’s Suliman al-Elwan By Murad Batal al-Shishani, Jamestown Militant Leadership Monitor Volume 2 Issue 2, 28 February 2011
  6. ^ "Report of 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004". pp. 232–3, 521. Archived from the original (TXT) on 2004-10-20. 
  7. ^ Pallister, David (15 December 2001). "Mystery sheikh fuels Saudi jitters". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2018. 
  8. ^ Jarret Brachman: Global jihadism Theory and practice. New York 2009, S. 64f. googlebooks ISBN 9780415452410
  9. ^ "Fatwa By Saudi Sheikh: Soccer Players Are Infidels". 10 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of 'Al-Qaeda mufti'". Arab News. 28 November 2013.