Veteran of Afghanistan-Soviet civil war (1980-1989)
Narrative and Notes
Abu Ayoub al-Iraqi is one of the early al-Qaeda organizers who does not seem to be important to counterterrorism officials today. His status is unknown.
According to Jamal al-Fadl, Abu Ayoub al-Iraqi first proposed the concept of the group that eventually became al-Qaeda during a meeting in Khost, Afghanistan in 1989. He wanted to carry the jihad started in Afghanistan around the world.
Although Al-Fadl called Abu Ayoub the "emir" of al-Qaeda, he says later Abu Ayoub is second to Osama bin Laden.
Abu Ayoub was replaced by Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri as emir, apparently sometime before 1991, as L'Houssaine Kherchtou described Abu Ubaidah as al-Qaeda's second-in-command at that time.2,3
1 Presumed from name.
2 Jamal al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 2, Feb. 6, 2001.
3 L'Houssaine Kherchtou testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et. al., trial transcript, Day 8, Feb. 21, 2001.