|Affiliation||Al-Qaeda in Iraq1,2|
|Supervisor||Abu Musab al-Zarqawi|
|Affiliation||Egyptian Islamic Jihad4|
|Affiliation||Mujahideen Shura Council5|
|Alias(es)||Abu Hamza al-Muhajer4, Abu-Hamzah Al-Muhajir, Abu Hamza al-Mujahir, Abu Hamza al-Mohajer|
|Alternate Spelling(s)||Abu Ayoub al-Masri, Abu Ayyub el Masry, Abu Ayyub al-Misri, Abu Ajub al-Masri, Abou Ayyub al-Masri|
|Place of Birth||Egypt1|
|History||Attended training camp in postwar Afghanistan (1990-2001)1|
|Narrative and Notes|
|Reliable||An American military spokesman in Iraq identified "Abu al-Masri" as the likely successor to Abu Musab Zarqawi after Zarqawi was killed on June 7, 2006. Military officials later confirmed he is the same as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, a most-wanted terrorist in Iraq for over a year.|
On Feb. 11, 2005, U.S. Central Command announced the Iraqi government had issued a warrant for his arrest, and the U.S. government initially offered a reward of $50,000 for information leading to his capture. The reward was later raised to $5 million.
He is the last remaining original member of the Mujahideen Shura Council.
He has manufactured explosives in Iraq, particularly car and truck bombs. He has also helped foreign fighters move from Syria to Baghdad, and oversaw al-Qaeda's activities in southern Iraq.
He also arranged meetings between Zarqawi and Ansar al-Islam commander Umar Baziyani.
He has been a terrorist since 1982, when he joined Ayman al-Zawahri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad.1,2,5
|Possible||He probably came into Iraq in 2002, before Zarqawi's arrival, and may have helped establish the first al-Qaeda cell in the Baghdad area.|
He was believed to have fled Fallujah during the U.S.-led offensive into the city, Operation al-Fajr, which started on Nov. 8, 2004.
He first went to Afghanistan in 1999. He trained and lectured other militants.
He is believed to have met Zarqawi at the al-Farouk camp in Afgahnistan in 2001 or 2002.
As of June 2006, he has had recent communications with Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Shortly following Zarqawi's death, militant web sites identified Abu Hamza al-Muhajer as the successor to Zarqawi. Military officials say the believe he is the same as Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
Al-Muhajer means 'the immigrant' - possibly an attempt to make a non-Iraqi more palatable to Iraqis in the insurgency.
American military officials suggested there was some uncertainty whether he could exert full control over al-Qaeda and other groups in Iraq, and have wondered if others - such as Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Iraqi or Abdullah bin Rashid - may try to assume authority.1,3,4
|Questionable||Abu Ayyub al-Masri was reported killed around Oct. 3, 2006, and again around May 1, 2007. Al-Qaida denied he was killed, and U.S. authorities have not confirmed his death.|
|1 U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq, during a press briefing on June 8, 2006.|
|2 U.S. Central Command press release, 'Iraqi Interim Government announces arrest warrants, award information.' Feb. 11, 2005.|
|3 Caldwell, press briefing, June 9, 2006.|
|4 Caldwell, press briefing, June 15, 2006.|
|5 Rewards for Justice page.|
|Photos (left to right): Rewards for Justice; Rewards for Justice|
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