The 21st Century Phenomenon




– Muhammed al-Ghamdi, known as Abu al Walid, was born in 1967 in Saudi Arabia, in the village of al-Hal, in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Baha province, to the Ghamid – al-Ghamdi tribe known for its support for Radical Islam in Saudi Arabia. His father was a well known local Imam (Muslim priest ).

Like many of his tribe Muhammed al-Ghamdi went, in 1986, to fight in Afghanistan and went through military training with the Maktab al-khidamat . He followed in the footsteps of Amir Khattab and fought in Tajikistan in 1992 and in 1994 in Bosnia.  Muhammed al-Ghamdi – Abu al Walid, joined the Chechens in the first war against the Russia in 1995 as the senior lieutenant of Amir Khattab.

In the summer of 2001, Aslan Maskhadov, the last Chechen president, then in exile, appointed Abu al Walid commander of the Eastern front.  He replaced Amir Khattab, after his assassination, on 03/20/2002, as the commander – Amir of the Arab volunteers in Chechnya.

.On 06/11/ 2003, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published a report that Abu al Walid had sent a message through the Caucasus website encouraging the Iraqi people to participate in suicide operations.

Abu al Walid made yet another public appearance in Al-Jazeera on 11/19/2003. Al-Jazeera broadcasted a videotape showing Muhammed al-Ghamdi announcing that the mujahedeen (Holy Warriors) would take the battle to Russia’s inner territories, adding that the fear of rape and brutality by Russian troops motivated the attacks of Chechen female suicide bombers (known as the “ Black Widows ” ).

On 04/16/2004 Muhammed al-Ghamdi – Abu al Walid was killed in Chechnya by a Russian ambush in unclear circumstances. He was probably replaced by the Jordanian Abu Hafs al-Urduni. .

* Note – .

The al-Ghamdi tribe from Al-Baha, an isolated mountainous region on the southern coast of the Red Sea, is known for its radical attitude toward Islam. Many tribe members joined Al Qaeda or affiliated groups. Two brothers: Hamza & Ahmed al-Ghamdi and a family member Saeed al-Ghamdi were among The 9/11 hijackers.

An uncle, Ali Faqasi al-Ghamdi, was one of the organizers of the Riyadh Suicide Attacks on 05/12/2003. He became one of 19 fugitives from the Saudi authorities in connection with the attack.

Another uncle, Bandar al-Ghamdi, managed to flee to Yemen. He was on the list of 19 most-wanted fugitives from the Saudi authorities in connection with the Riyadh Suicide Attacks. Bandar al-Ghamdi was arrested on 09/09/2003, eventually, in Yemen and later extradited back to Saudi Arabia. 


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