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Abdullah Azzam

Leader of Maktab al-Khidamat


Abdullah Azzam

ImportanceVery High
Means of DeathRemote-detonated bomb1
Date of DeathNov. 24, 19891,2
Location of DeathPeshawar, Pakistan1
AffiliationMaktab al-Khidamat1,2
AffiliationMuslim Brotherhood1
Alias(es)Dr. Abdullah Azzam2
Rough Age at Death48
Date of Birth19411
Place of BirthSelat al-Harithis, Palestine1
HistoryVeteran of Afghanistan-Soviet civil war (1980-1989)
Narrative and Notes (Reliable)
  • Abdullah Azzam, with his deputy Osama bin Laden, founded Maktab al-Khidamat in 1984 to recruit and assist Arabs fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Once the anti-Soviet forces' victory was assured, Azzam and bin Laden decided they wanted to keep the jihad alive, and export it globally.
  • Azzam was a disciple of the Egypitan Islamist Sayyid Qutb.
  • In a journal article published in 1987, Azzam defined "al-Qa'ida al-Sulbah," or "the solid base," as the vanguard of global jihad.
  • Killed with Azzam in 1989 were his two sons. It is uncertain who killed him.1,2
  • Narrative and Notes (Possible)
  • Abdullah Azzam is described as a ideological mentor for Osama bin Laden, although some experts, including Rohan Gunaratna, say they had significant yet private differences in how to proceed after the end of the Soviet-Afghan war. Azzam may have wanted to concentrate on Israel, or setting up an Islamist government in Afghanistan, while many in MAK wanted to focus on the authoritarian government in Egypt.
  • Azzam wrote an article that appears to oppose the killing of noncombatants, women and children during jihad.1,2
  • Narrative and Notes (Questionable)
  • Speculation regarding Azzam's killers has included rival Egyptians, Osama bin Laden or one of his supporters.1
  • Sources and Notes

    1 Gunaratna, Rohan. 'Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror.' Columbia University Press: New York, 2002.
    2 The 9-11 Commission Report. July 22, 2004.

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    Public domain

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    Page last modified: 01-11-2006 17:40:58 ZULU