The 21st Century Phenomenon




* Abdul Aziz  Muqrin was born in Saudi Arabia in 1973. In an early age he joined the Mujahidin ( Holy Warriors) in Afghanistan just when the Russian left the country in 1989. Abdul  Aziz Muqrin fought in Algeria in 1992 and in Bosnia up to early 1995.

Abdul  Aziz Muqrin took part in the Addis-Ababa Attempt on Hosni Mubarak’s life  in Ethiopia’s capital, on 06/22/1995. He was caught by the Ethiopian Police and was jailed in Ethiopia.

A relative of Abdul  Aziz Muqrin, with a variation of the same name, was involved in the Khobar Towers attack on 06/29/1996 and it aroused some confusion about his whereabouts. He was at that time in Ethiopian jail. In 1998, due to “good behavior”, Abdul  Aziz Muqrin was handed over to Saudi Arabia and spent two more years in jail. He was released in 2000, left to Afghanistan and joined Al Qaeda.

During operation “Absolute Justice” in Afghanistan, in 11/2001, Abdul  Aziz Muqrin fought against American and Northern Alliance forces in the ranks of the Taliban. He managed to flee Afghanistan and returned to Saudi Arabia were he was one of the founders of the Saudi branch of Al Qaeda, under the command of Khaled Ali Haj, which was named Al Haramain Brigades, or the Two Mosques Brigades, referring to the holy Mosques in Mecca and Median in Saudi Arabia.

Abdul  Aziz Muqrin also wrote a booklet called “Al Battar” (The Winner). The booklet is a comprehensive manual how to commit or carry out urban guerilla and terror warfare.  His instruction  how to take hostages, how to chose the target, the number of hostage takers needed for a long  siege, the booby-trap of the hostages and all the entrances and the method of negotiation,  were followed later by the mass hostage tacking attacks committed by Shamil Basayev in the Moscow Theater and the Beslan Horror.

After Khaled Ali Haj was killed by the Saudi police on 03/15/2004 Abdul  Aziz Muqrin replaced him as the leader of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. He himself always denied operating under the umbrella of Al Qaeda and insisted his group operated independently.

Abdul  Aziz Muqrin took responsibility under his name or Al Haramain Brigades on almost all the terror attacks committed in Saudi Arabia from the Riyadh Suicide Attacks on 05/12/2003 until he was killed in the center of Riyadh by a police pursuit on 06/18/2004, alongside Faisal al-Dakheel, following the kidnapping of Paul M. Johnson on 06/15/2004 and Johnson’s beheading three days later on 06/18/2004. In the same shootout Faris al-Zahrani was captured too. Abdul  Aziz Muqrin was replaced bySaleh al-Oufi.

* Abdallah bin Abdulaziz Ahmad al-Muqrin, a relative of Abdul  Aziz Muqrin, has surrendered to the Saudi authorities after his family urged him to do so, a Ministry of Information spokesman said Thursday 09/02/2004 (see – 2004-Leniency).

According to the Saudi intelligence Abdallah al-Muqrin was involved in planning the Khobar Hostages Crisis in late 05/2004.


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