Kamal Derwish, also known as Ahmed Hijazi, is a USA citizen from Yemeni descent, born in Buffalo, New York, USA in 1973. His family returned to Yemen in 1978. He lived with relatives in Saudi Arabia where he was raised.
In 1997 Kamal Derwish was deported from Saudi Arabia for alleged extremist activities. He spent a year in Yemen before heading back to his hometown of Lackawanna, New York, in 1998. Kamal Derwish became involved in the town’s Muslim community. He soon began holding gatherings at his apartment for small groups of young Muslims after evening prayers. These gatherings became later the breeding round of his Lakawanna Cell, an Al Qaeda cell that operated in Buffalo, New York, from summer 2000.
In 1999 Kamal Derwish traveled to Yemen and married a Yemeni woman and they had a child. He returned to USA in spring 2000.
Kamal Derwish was the assemblers and recruiter of the Lakawanna Cell. It is assumed that Kamal Derwish recruited to the cause of Al Qaeda over 20 young Muslims who lived in the state of New York, USA.
In 04/2001 Kamal Derwish, with Jaber Elbaneh and other associates in Lakawanna Cell, left USA for training in Al Qaeda’s Al Farook camp, near Kandahar, in southeast Afghanistan. While Kamal Derwish was in Afghanistan FBI got an anonymous letter, probably from a member of the Lackawanna Yemeni community. The letter said that “terrorists” had come to Lackawanna “for recruiting the Yemenite youth” and that a group of men had gone to train with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Only after the arrest of Juma al-Dosari in Pakistan, in 12/2001, and his interrogations in Guantanamo, the USA authority began to reveal the full extent of Kamal Derwish’s activity as an Al Qaeda devoted recruiter.
In late 2001, just before operation “Absolute Justice”, Kamal Derwish left Afghanistan and joined Abu Ali al-Harthi ’s activity in Yemen. He, probably, participated in the planning and organizing the Limburg Attack on 10/06/2002.
Kamal Derwish alongside Abu Ali al-Harthi, Muhammad Hamdi al-Ahdal and three other activists was killed on 11/03/2002, by a missile from an UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, on a road 160 km east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, Marib province.
Kamal Derwish was not charged with any crimes in USA.
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