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Samir Saleh Abdullah (Arabic: سامر صالح عبد الله‎; 14 April 1969 – 20 March 2002), more commonly known as Ibn al-Khattab or Emir Khattab (also transliterated as Amir
Amir
Khattab and Ameer Khattab, meaning Commander Khattab, or Leader Khattab), was a Saudi Arabian-born Chechen military leader and mujahid in the First Chechen War and the Second Chechen War.[1] The origins and real identity of Khattab remained a mystery to most until after his death, when his brother gave an interview to the press.[2] He died on 20 March 2002 following exposure to a poison letter delivered via a courier who had been recruited by Russia's Federal Security Service.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Central Asia
Central Asia
and the Balkans 1.2 First Chechen War 1.3 Chechnya 1.4 Dagestan
Dagestan
War 1.5 1999 bombings in Russia 1.6 Second Chechen War 1.7 Death and legacy

2 Links to Osama bin Laden 3 References 4 External links

4.1 Video

Biography[edit] Khattab was born in Arar, Saudi
Saudi
Arabia. Afghan Mujahideen
Mujahideen
claimed that during the Soviet–Afghan War, Khattab was known as a Saudi
Saudi
with a Circassian background. Central Asia
Central Asia
and the Balkans[edit] At the age of 18, Khattab left Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
to participate in the fight against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. During this time, he permanently incapacitated his right hand and lost several fingers after an accident with improvised explosives. The injury was treated with honey by Khattab on himself.[3] Khattab, while leader of Islamic International Brigade, publicly admitted that he spent the period between 1989 and 1994 in Afghanistan and that he had met Osama Bin Laden. In March 1994, Khattab arrived in Afghanistan and toured fighter training camps in Khost province. He returned to Afghanistan with the first group of Chechen militants in May 1994. Khattab underwent training in Afghanistan and had close connections with al-Qaeda. Several hundred Chechens
Chechens
eventually trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.[4][5] Armenian sources claim that in 1992 he was one of many Chechen volunteers who aided Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
in the embattled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where he allegedly met Shamil Basayev. However, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense denied any involvement by Khattab in the Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh
war.[6][7] From 1993 to 1995, Khattab left to fight alongside Islamic opposition in the Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Civil War. Before leaving for Tajikistan
Tajikistan
in 1994, al-Khattab gave Abdulkareem Khadr
Abdulkareem Khadr
a pet rabbit of his own, which was promptly named Khattab. In an interview, Khattab once mentioned he had also been involved in the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The fragment of this interview in which he makes this statement can be found in the 2004 BBC
BBC
documentary The Smell of Paradise, though he did not specify his exact role or the duration of his presence there.[8] First Chechen War[edit] According to Khattab's brother, he first heard about the Chechen conflict on an Afghan television channel in 1995; that same year, he entered Chechnya, posing as a television reporter. He was credited as being a pioneer in producing video footage of Chechen rebel combat operations in order to aid fundraising efforts and demoralize the enemy. During the First Chechen War, Khattab participated in fighting Russian forces and acted as an intermediary financier between foreign Muslim funding sources and the local fighters. To help secure funding and spread the message of resistance, he was frequently accompanied by at least one cameraman. His units were credited with several devastating ambushes on Russian columns in the Chechen mountains. His first action was the October 1995 ambush of a Russian convoy which killed 47 soldiers.[9] Khattab gained early fame and a great notoriety in Russia
Russia
for his April 1996 ambush of a large armored column in a narrow gorge of Yaryshmardy, near Shatoy, which killed up to 100 soldiers and destroyed some two or three dozen vehicles. In another ambush, near Vedeno, at least 28 Russian troops were killed.[10] . In the course of the war, Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev
became his closest ally and personal friend. He was also associated with Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, who gave Khattab two of the highest Chechen military awards, the Order of Honor and the Brave Warrior medal, and promoted him to the rank of general. A senior Chechen commander by the name of Izmailov told press how Khattab urged restraint, citing the Koran, when at the end of the war the Chechens
Chechens
wanted to shoot those they considered traitors.[11] Chechnya[edit] After the conclusion of the war, Khattab, by then wanted by Interpol on Russia's request, became a prominent warlord and commanded the Arab Mujahideen
Mujahideen
in Chechnya, his own private army with a group of Arabs, Turks and other foreign fighters who had come to participate in the war. He set up a network of paramilitary camps in the mountainous parts of the republic that trained not only Chechens, but also Muslims from the North Caucasian Russian republics and Central Asia. On 22 December 1997, over a year after the signing of the Khasav-Yurt treaty and the end of the first war in Chechnya, the Arab mujahideen and a group of Dagestani rebels raided the base of the 136th Armoured Brigade
Brigade
of the 58th Division of the Russian Army in Buinaksk, Dagestan. Dagestan
Dagestan
War[edit] In 1998, along with Shamil Basayev, Khattab created the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade
Brigade
(IIPB) group (also known as the Islamic Peacekeeping Army). In August–September 1999, they led the IIPB's incursions into Dagestan, which resulted in the deaths of at least several hundred people and effectively started the Second Chechen War. 1999 bombings in Russia[edit] A Federal Security Service
Federal Security Service
of the Russian Federation (FSB) investigation named Khattab as the mastermind behind the September 1999 Russian apartment bombings.[12] However, on 14 September 1999, Khattab told the Russian Interfax
Interfax
news agency in Grozny
Grozny
that he had nothing to do with the Moscow
Moscow
explosions; he was quoted as saying, “We would not like to be akin to those who kill sleeping civilians with bombs and shells.”[13] The conclusion by the FSB remains controversial. Some researchers, such as Johns Hopkins University/ Hoover Institute
Hoover Institute
scholar David Satter,[14] came to conclusion that the bombings were in fact a "false flag" attack perpetrated by the FSB in order to legitimate the resumption of military activities in Chechnya. [15] Second Chechen War[edit] During the course of the war, Khattab participated in leading his militia against Russian forces in Chechnya, as well as managing the influx of foreign fighters and money (and, according to the Russian officials, also planning of attacks in Russia). He led or commanded several devastating attacks, such as the mountain battle, which killed at least 84 Russian paratroopers, and the attack on the OMON
OMON
convoy near Zhani-Vedeno, which killed at least 52 Russian Interior Ministry troops. Death and legacy[edit] "Khattab was falsely reported dead when Guantanamo captive
Guantanamo captive
Omar Mohammed Ali Al Rammah faced the allegations that he witnessed Khattab being killed in an ambush in Duisi, a village in the Pankisi Gorge
Pankisi Gorge
of Georgia on 28 April 2002."[16][17] Khattab later survived a heavy-calibre bullet wound to the stomach and a landmine explosion. He was killed during the night of 19–20 March 2002, when a Dagestani messenger hired by the Russian FSB gave Khattab a poisoned letter. Chechen sources said that the letter was coated with "a fast-acting nerve agent, possibly sarin or a derivative".[18][19] The messenger, a Dagestani double agent known as Ibragim Alauri, was turned by the FSB on his routine courier mission. Khattab would receive letters from his mother in Saudi
Saudi
Arabia, and the FSB found this to be the most opportune moment to kill Khattab. It was reported that the operation to recruit and turn Ibragim Alauri to work for the FSB and deliver the poisoned letter took some six months of preparation. Alauri was reportedly tracked down and killed a month later in Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
on Shamil Basayev's orders.[20] Ibn Al-Khattab was succeeded by Emir Abu al-Walid.[citation needed] "Khattabka" (хаттабка) is now a popular Russian and Chechen name for a homemade hand grenade. Links to Osama bin Laden[edit] According to Fawaz Gerges
Fawaz Gerges
who cited Abu Walid al Masri's diaries, Ibn al-Khattab and Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
operated separate groups, as they defined the enemy differently, but tried to pull each other to their own battle plans.[21] A part of bin Laden's interest was trying to obtain dirty bombs from the Russian arsenal through al-Khattab's contacts.[21] According to Richard A. Clarke, "Bin Laden sent Afghan Arab veterans, money, and arms to fellow Saudi
Saudi
ibn Khatab in Chechnya, which seemed like a perfect theater for jihad."[22] References[edit]

^ Muhammad al-`Ubaydi. "Khattab" (PDF). Combating Terrorism Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-05.  ^ "Khattab, the man who died for the cause of Chechnya". Islam Awareness. Retrieved 20 May 2015.  ^ Paul J. Murphy (2004). The Wolves of Islam: Russia
Russia
and the Faces of Chechen Terror. Brassey's. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-57488-830-0.  ^ Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities ^ QE.I.99.03. ISLAMIC INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE (IIB) Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. "Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities"] ^ "Chechen Fighter's Death Reveals Conflicted Feelings in Azerbaijan". EurasiaNet. Retrieved 20 May 2015.  ^ "Terror in Karabakh: Chechen Warlord
Warlord
Shamil Basayev's Tenure in Azerbaijan". The Armenian Weekly On-Line: AWOL. Archived from the original on 14 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-15.  ^ " BBC
BBC
Four - The Smell of Paradise". YouTube. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.  ^ The Wolves of Islam: Russia
Russia
and the Faces of Chechen Terror, Murphy, Paul J., 2004 ^ Russian fighting ceases in Chechnya; Skeptical troops comply with Yeltsin order CNN
CNN
Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Muslim
Muslim
Fighter Embraces Warrior Mystique, The New York Times, 17 October 1999 ^ Murphy, Paul (2004). The Wolves of Islam: Russia
Russia
and the Faces of Chechen Terror. Potomac Books Inc. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-57488-830-0.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 April 2005. Retrieved 19 December 2005.  ^ Satter, David. Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. Yale University Press:2003, ISBN 0-300-09892-8 ^ Sakwa, Richard (2008). Putin, Russia's choice (2nd ed.). Routledge. pp. 333–334. ISBN 978-0-415-40765-6.  ^ OARDEC (16 September 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Rammah, Omar Mohammed Ali" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. 42–44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-08. The detainee witnessed the ambush that killed Ibn al Khattab  ^ OARDEC (26 May 2006). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al-Rammah, Omar Mohammed Ali" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. 25–27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2008. The detainee was captured in a violent road ambush by Georgia Security Forces in Duisi, Georgia (ka) on 28 April 2002.  ^ "More of Kremlin's Opponents Are Ending Up Dead". The New York Times. 21 August 2016.  ^ Ian R Kenyon (June 2002). "The chemical weapons convention and OPCW: the challenges of the 21st century" (PDF). The CBW Conventions Bulletin. Harvard Sussex Program on CBW Armament and Arms Limitation (56): 47.  ^ [1]=18627&tx_ttnews[backPid]=184&no_cache=1 "Who Ordered Khattab's Death?"], Jamestown Foundation, quoting Russian press sources ^ a b pp. 57-60, Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (2005), Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521737435 ^ p. 136, Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (2004), Free Press. ISBN 978-0743260459

External links[edit]

BBC
BBC
notice of Khattab's death Khattab info from Kavkaz Center (in Russian) [2]=658&tx_ttnews[backPid]=181&no_cache=1 The Rise and Fall of Foreign Fighters in Chechnya], The Jamestown Foundation

Video[edit]

Khattab's video of the Shatoy battle Biography of Khattab Part 1 Biography of Khattab Part 2

v t e

Chechen–Russian conflict

First Chechen War
First Chechen War
(1994–1996) War of Dagestan
Dagestan
(1999) Second Chechen War
Second Chechen War
(1999–2009) War in Ingushetia
War in Ingushetia
(2007–2015) Insurgency in the North Caucasus
North Caucasus
(since 2009)

First Chechen War

Battle of Grozny
Grozny
(November 1994) Battle of Dolinskoye Battle of Khankala Battle of Grozny
Grozny
(1994–95) 1995 Shali cluster bomb attack Samashki massacre Shatoy ambush Battle of Grozny
Grozny
(August 1996) Khasavyurt Accord Russia–Chechen Peace Treaty

Second Chechen War

1999 Russian bombing of Chechnya Battle of Grozny
Grozny
(1999–2000) Battle for Height 776 Battle of Komsomolskoye 2000 Zhani- Vedeno ambush 2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash 2004 Nazran raid 2004 raid on Grozny 2005 raid on Nalchik Counter-insurgency operations Guerrilla phase

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Major attacks

1995 Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis 1996 Black Sea hostage crisis

MV Avrasya
MV Avrasya
hijacking

1996 Kizlyar hostage crisis 1999 Russian apartment bombings 1999 Dagestan
Dagestan
massacre 2002 Moscow
Moscow
theater hostage crisis 2002 Grozny
Grozny
truck bombing 2004 Russian aircraft bombings 2004 Beslan school siege

Related topics

Censorship of Chechnya
Chechnya
coverage Crimes and terrorism Mass graves Suicide attacks Assassinations Casualties Aircraft losses International response Politics of Chechnya Chechenpress Kavkaz Center

Wars in culture

Alexandra (film) Angel of Grozny Ant in a Glass Jar Polina Zherebtsova's Journal The 3 Rooms of Melancholia The Pathologies The Search (2014 film) War (2002 film)

Federalists

Combatants

Russian Federation

Armed Forces Ground Forces

Ministry of Internal Affairs

OMON ODON Internal Troops

Federal Security Service Main Intelligence Directorate Special
Special
Forces (Spetsnaz) Republic
Republic
of Chechnya

Kadyrovtsy

Leaders

Russian Federation

Boris Yeltsin Dmitry Medvedev Vladimir Putin Alexander Lebed Pavel Grachev Gennady Troshev

Chechnya

 † Akhmad Kadyrov Alu Alkhanov Ramzan Kadyrov  † Dzhabrail Yamadayev  † Ruslan Yamadayev  † Sulim Yamadayev

Separatists

Combatants

Chechen Republic
Republic
of Ichkeria Caucasian Front

Shariat Jamaat Vilayat Galgaycho Vilayat Nokhchicho

Islamic Djamaat of Dagestan

Leaders

 † Dzhokhar Dudayev  † Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev  † Aslan Maskhadov  † Abdul-Halim Sadulayev  † Ruslan Gelayev  † Shamil Basayev  † Arbi Barayev  † Salman Raduyev Akhmed Zakayev  † Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev  † Vakha Arsanov Ilyas Akhmadov  † Movsar Barayev  †  Muslim
Muslim
Atayev  † Rasul Makasharipov  † Ilyas Gorchkhanov  † Rappani Khalilov

Mujahideen

Combatants

Caucasus Emirate Arab Mujahideen Islamic International Brigade Riyad-us Saliheen ISIL – Caucasus Province

Leaders

 † Magomed Suleimanov  † Aliaskhab Kebekov  † Dokka Umarov  (POW) Aslambek Vadalov  (POW) Ali Taziev  † Anzor Astemirov  † Supyan Abdullayev Aslan Byutukayev Movladi Udugov  † Khuseyn Gakayev  (POW) Tarkhan Gaziyev  † Said Buryatsky  † Magomed Vagabov  † Rustam Asildarov  † Asker Dzhappuyev  † Arthur Getagazhev  † Ibn al-Khattab  † Abu al-Walid  † Abu Hafs al-Urduni  † Muhannad  †