Military


Abu Hamza Rabia

Abu Hamza Rabia was believed to be an Egyptian national who served as al-Qaida's senior international operations commander. As such, he was believed to be tasked with the planning process of Al-Qaeda operations outside of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, in addition wtih training, recruiting, and networking operations duties. As a key associate of Ayman al-Zawahri, Al-Qaeda's second in command, Rabia was believed to have gained in importance as a result of the power vacuum created as a result of Abu Faraj al-Libbi's capture earlier in 2005.

Abu Hamza Rabia was reported to have been killed n December 1, 2005 as a result of an explosion inside a mud house located slightly north of a town called Mir Ali in Pakistan's tribal area of North Waziristan, near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. DNA tests performed by US and Pakistani intelligence services were reported to have confirmed Rabia's death. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf confirmed Rabia's death while on a trip to Kuwait.

Details surrounding Rabia's death remained sketchy, with Pakistani officials officially claiming Rabia died as a result of the accidental explosion of munitions and explosives in the building he was in. Initial reports, however suggested the United States played a role in Hamza Rabia's death, not only providing assistance in locating Rabia, but also by firing a missile which set off munitions stockpiled inside the building. As a result, it was being speculated that an armed US predator aerial vehicle had likely played a role in the operation. Reports of local residents witnessing an UAV fire missiles into the building reportedly housing Rabia seemed to bolster that theory.



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