Fazul Abdullah Mohammed

Alias/es: Abdallah Mohammed Fazul; Abu Seif al-Sudani; Abu Aish; Abu Fadl al-Qamari; Abu Luqman; Fadel Abdallah Mohammed Ali; Fouad Mohammed; Harun Al-Qamar; Abdulkarim; Fadil Harun; Harun Fazul; Yaqoub al-Dusari

Status: Deceased (2011)

Organisation/s: Al-Qaeda (in East Africa); Al-Shabaab

Nationality/ies: Comorian

Travel History: Pakistan; Afghanistan; Sudan; Kenya; Somalia

Skills/Education/Occupation: Unknown

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed left Comoros to study medicine in Pakistan (where he was said to have extended family) before dropping out to join the Mujahideen in the Afghan-Soviet War (like Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee’aad ‘Al-Afghani’,  Aden Hashi Farah Ayro and Hassan Dahir Aweys). In the aftermath of the war, Abdullah established ties with Al-Qaeda and traveled with Mohammad Saddiq Odeh (later even attending his wedding) to Somalia (in 1993) and Kenya (in 1994) to assist in the planning and logistics of the attacks on the U.S embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, where he also stayed in Wadih el Hage’s house in Nairobi. Abdullah’s role was to ferry money between Khartoum and Nairobi for the Al-Qaeda cell.

In the aftermath of the U.S embassy attacks, Abdullah went into hiding, becoming part of what would later become Al-Shabaab. Like (Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and) the handful of remaining Al-Qaeda operatives in East Africa, Abdullah likely played the role as an advisor, also training militants in the insurgent tactics he gained from Afghanistan. Abdullah also wrote a two-volume autobiography while in hiding, with the first volume said to be written between 2003 and 2004, and the second volume between 2007 and 2009.

Abdullah’s autobiography revealed his allegiance (and that of other Al-Qaeda operatives) was very much under the direction of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda central (AQC) in Pakistan. This was further reflected in what appeared to be Osama bin Laden’s growing preference for Abdullah to lead Al-Shabaab in Somalia and Abdullah echoing the Al-Qaeda leader’s opposition to an official affiliation.

Just a month after the death of Osama bin Laden, Abduallah uncharacteristically wondered into a security checkpoint and was killed in the altercation with security forces. The incident has been widely speculated to have been orchestrated by Ahmed Abdi Godane who saw Osama bin Laden’s death as an opportunity to eliminate his opponent for the leadership position.