Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri
Alias/es: Adel Habib; Jalal; Sheikh Abu Banshiri; Karim; Ali al-Rashidi; Ali Amin
Status: Deceased (1996)
Organisation/s: Al-Qaeda (in East Africa)
Travel History: Afghanistan; Yemen (1992) Tanzania; Kenya
Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri was one of the founding members of Al-Qaeda (along with Mamdouh Mahmud Salim) who came to be part of the organisation after his involvement in the Afghan-Soviet war. By then, al-Banshiri already brought with him some acclaim after his brother was involved in the assassination of former Egyptian president, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat. This found him in favour with Ayman Zawahiri, who introduced al-Banshiri to Osama bin Laden who soon promoted al-Banshiri to be his deputy. In doing so, al-Banshiri was in charge of Al-Qaeda’s expansion into East Africa, supervising all logistical and militant activities including the delegation of Al-Qaeda operatives to Somalia and Kenya. Al-Banshiri spent most of his time between Kenya and Tanzania establishing businesses with his deputy, Mohammed Atef, Wadih el Hage and Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, that would assist in funding Al-Qaeda’s operations in the region.
Al-Banshiri drowned in a ferry accident in Lake Victoria in 1996.