Zahid Al-Sheikh

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Zahid Al-Sheikh
Born Kuwait
Occupation charity worker
Known for Older brother of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Zahid Al-Sheikh is an older brother of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. He volunteered to travel to Afghanistan to help fight to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Following the ouster of the Soviet forces Zahid is reported to have played a role in planning terrorist projects.[1][2][3][4] He is also reported to have shifted careers to the direction of non-governmental organizations that provided aid to refugees.[5][6]

Zahid and two of his brothers traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1980s. His two brothers are believed to have been killed in combat. His youngest brother, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was later to play a senior role in al Qaeda's leadership arrived in 1987. Zahid is reported to have introduced his younger brother to leading anti-Soviet fighters.[1][2]

According to the 9-11 Commission:

Visiting Pakistan for the first time in early 1987, he traveled to Peshawar, where his brother Zahid introduced him to the famous Afghan mujahid Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, head of the Hizbul-Ittihad El-Islami (Islamic Union Party).

The USA sought Zahid for questioning about whether he played a role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.[3][4][7]

Zahid is reported to have collaborated with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in planning Operation Bojinka, a 1995 plan to hijack 12 airplanes over the Pacific.[8]

On September 26, 2001, shortly after al Qaeda's attacks 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, The Guardian published a report on their investigation as to whether there was evidence of a real link between Osama bin Laden and Mercy International, the charity Zahid helped run.[9] They reported they could find no evidence of a link, but called for a more detailed investigation—to reassure the public.

American intelligence analysts alleged, during Adel Hassan Hamad's Combatant Status Review Tribunal and Administrative Review Board hearing that Zahid was tied to terrorism and that Hamad's acquaintanceship with him was one of the factors in favor of his continued detention.[5] American intelligence analysts alleged that Zahid was the director of the Jelazee Refugee Camp in Pakistan, and the director of Lajnat Al-Da'wa al Islamia (LDI) in Pakistan. Hamad confirmed that Zahid had been a director of LDI when he first worked as a teacher for the Hira Islamic Institute in the Jelazee Refugee Center, which was supported by LDI, but he told his hearing that Zahid was never the director of the camp.[6]

American intelligence analysts told Hamad's hearing that "other sources" identified Zahid as holding extremist views. Hamad replied that his relationship with Zahid was a purely administrative one, but he did not believe Zahid was an extremist.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Al Qaeda aims at the American Homeland" (PDF). 9-11 Commission. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed". Global Security. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b "The CEO of al-Qaeda: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed". Financial Times. February 14, 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Dedicated hater of the West with a taste for high living". The Daily Telegraph. January 3, 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  5. ^ a b c "Summarized transcript, from Adel Hassan Hamad's Administrative Review Board hearing" (PDF). OARDEC. 2005. p. 248. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2006-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  6. ^ a b "Summarized transcript, from Adel Hassan Hamad's Administrative Review Board hearing" (PDF). OARDEC. 2005. p. 255. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2006-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  7. ^ Anwar Iqbal (1995-04-11). "Pakistan unearthing Yousef's roots". Islamabad: United Press International. Archived from the original on 2017-02-09. Retrieved 2017-02-08. As part of their probe, Pakistani authorities have ordered an inquiry into the affairs of the Pakistan office of a welfare organization, the Mercy International, which, they said, was headed by Zahid Shaikh. 
  8. ^ Stephen F. Hayes (November 3, 2003). "Osama's Best Friend: The further connections between al Qaeda and Saddam.". 9 (8). The Weekly Standard. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  9. ^ David Pallister, Jamie Wilson (2001-09-26). "Muslim relief groups caught in crossfire". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2017-02-08. Mr Qureshi said the head of Mercy International, Zahid Shaikh, had told him the police investigation was sparked because Yousef had made a phone call to the Mercy offices. There is no evidence Mercy had any involvement in the crimes.