Abu Ayyub Al-Masri, known also as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, his real name is Yusif al-Dardiri , replaced Abu Musab al Zarqawi as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq after Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed in an American air raid on 06/07/2006. He was born in Egypt in 1967.

In 1982 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri joined the EGYPTIAN Islamic Jihad. Like most of the Islamic militants in Egypt, he fled the country and lived in Sudan up to 1995. In 1995 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri moved to Pakistan and stayed with the Osama bin Zaid Mosque group which was, apparently, frequented by extremists in Peshawar.

In 1999 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri went to Afghanistan where he became an explosives expert. After operation “Absolute Justice” in Afghanistan, in 11/2001, he fled the country and joined Ansar al Islam in the Iraqi Kurdistan Mountains. Since the USA invasion to Iraq in 03/2003 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri became a close aide to his predecessor Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

On 09/20/2006 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri, under his second name Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, claimed responsibility, in the web, for personally killing in 08/2004 the Turkish hostage Murat Yuce.

In 11/2006 Abu Ayyub Al-Masri declared allegiance to the local Iraqi top leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. It is assumed that Abu Ayyub Al-Masri fled Iraq in mid 2008 and handed over his direct authorization, so to speak, to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

Eventually the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on state television, on Monday 04/19/2010, that Abu Ayyub Al-Masri was killed north of the capital Baghdad (see – Enouncement 04.19.10 ).

* Abu Omar al-Baghdadi’s widow, identified only as WJ, was sentenced in Baghdad, on Thursday 06/30/2011, to life imprisonment. She was found guilty of co-operating in terrorist attacks carried out by Baghdadi, including controlling the cash and suicide vests. The court also sentenced Hasna Ali Yahya, a mother of three and the Yemeni wife of Abu Ayyub Al-asri, to life jail term. Hasna Ali Yahya was convicted “according to article four of the anti-terrorism law for (providing) cover and shelter to the terrorist group of Abu Ayyub Al-Masri.” He was succeeded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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