Wadih el Hage

Alias/es: Abd’al Sabur; Abdel Saboor

Status: Detained (1998)

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

Nationality/ies: Lebanese American

Travel History: Kuwait; United States; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Sudan (1992); Kenya (1994)

Skills/Education/Occupation: Urban planning at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, United States

Wadih el Hage was born to a Maronite Christian family in Sidon, Lebanon and raised in Kuwait where he met a wealthy sheikh who agreed to pay for his college tuition in the United States after he was forced to leave his family home for converting to Islam. After arriving in the United States, El Hage soon left to join the Afghan-Soviet war after coming under the influence of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. El Hage returned to the United States to complete his studies before traveling to Sudan in 1992 where he assisted Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, Mohammed Atef, and Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, establish companies that would fund Al-Qaeda’s operations in East Africa.

Investigations into the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 alerted federal agents to El Hage after they discovered his links to Mahmud Abouhalima, a convicted perpetrator of the attack. As a result, raids on his house in Nairobi by U.S and Kenyan intelligence agents later led to El Hage relocating back to Texas in the United States in September 1997. El Hage was arrested a year later and convicted on charges related to his activities on behalf of Al-Qaeda, including the conspiracy to target American citizens and military personnel. El Hage was sentenced to life without parole in 2001 and again in 2013