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View Full Version : Khattab, Mujahedeen Commander

07-06-2006, 05:35 PM
by Mowaffaq Al-Nowaiser
May 04, 2002, 02:12 PM

JEDDAH Mansour Al-Suwailem, elder brother of the leading Chechen fighter Khattab, who was recently assassinated by Russians, said it was an old Chechen woman who inspired Khattab to fight for the Chechens.

Khattabs real name is Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem. In his early youth he wanted to study in the United States. Mansour shed light on several aspects of Khattabs personal life in an interview with Arab News. The interview was conducted at his fathers house in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province.

Mansour said Khattab used to call their mother in Saudi Arabia before he carried out attacks against the Russians. Last week, Russian state television broadcast pictures of Khattabs body and said he had been killed on March 19-20 after a yearlong operation by Russian special forces. The station said he did not die in a battle but did not elaborate on how he died. Khattab is the most important Mujahedeen commander killed since Russian troops launched their latest campaign against the Chechen freedom struggle two and a half years ago.

Mansour said there were two differing reports of how his brother had been killed. According to one report, it was five minutes after he opened a poisoned letter given him by a trusted aide two weeks ago. The second report says that he was given poisoned food in a private party about a month ago. The last time Samir called his family was three months ago. He had visited Saudi Arabia only twice since he decided to go to Afghanistan in 1987.

"He called our parents whenever he had a chance and specially called our mother before carrying out any operation," he added. Samir was an ambitious child who had dreams of owning a castle with "a garage big enough for five cars". He also wanted all family members to live together and was concerned about the welfare of all family members and used to weep for the slightest reasons. He was loved by all. No one remembered him seeing angry. He loved jokes and used to play with children.

Samir, who was born in an Arar, a northern border city in Saudi Arabia in 1969, was a brilliant student who scored 94 percent in the secondary school examination.

Unlike other family members, he used to evince more interest in Islamic periodicals and tapes. He was very much impressed by the history of the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) and therefore accepted the title Khattab. He joined a training course conducted by the Aramco. He planned to continue his studies in the United States. He used to be very kind and helpful to others.

Once he found a stranger, a Sudanese expatriate, asking for a lift on the airport road. The man said his car broke down and he was afraid he may not reach the airport in time. The man was, apparently, worried about leaving his car on the road. After taking him to the airport, Samir went back to the car and towed it to a workshop for repairs. When the Sudanese man came back he was surprised to find his car repaired. Samir refused to accept the cost of the repair. There are several other instances of selfless service to others.

Mansour could not give any specific reason for Samirs sudden change of mind about his plan to go to the United States for studies. He joined the Afghan Arabs fighting the Russians at the age of 17 in 1987. The young boy refused to come home even after his father promised to buy him a house. He did not visit the Kingdom in the past 14 years except two times, the last one in 1993. He was gravely wounded four times and the most serious of them was when he set foot on a land mine. He was the lone survivor when his truck exploded, it was reported.

Mansour explained how Samir got the idea of going to Chechnya after watching a news broadcast on the Afghan TV. The news broadcast showed several Chechen groups wearing headbands with "No God But Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger" written on them. They shouted Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Samir felt curious about the jihad going on in Chechnya and decided to go there. But he did not know how to go there and the map he bought did not show Chechnya. So he set out to Baku in Azerbaijan which is close to Chechnya.

While he was making inquiries about how to reach Chechnya, he received a letter from Fathi Abu Sayyaf, a Chechen of Jordanian origin describing about the land of which he wrote, "a man who enters it is lost and one who gets out of it is like a reborn."

Somehow or other, he managed to reach Chechnya where he first went about as a TV reporter meeting with people and inquiring about the common mans attitude toward the jihad. His proficiency in Arabic, Russian, English, and Pashtu helped him mix with all kinds of people. In his travels he also met with Shamil Basayev.

It was about this time that he met an old Chechen woman who stressed the need for jihad against the Russians. She told him confidently: "We want them to quit our land so that we can return to Islam." When he asked her how she would help in a jihad against Russians, her reply was that she possessed only a jacket and she would donate it for the cause of Allah.

Suwailam said his brother had sobbed until "his beard became wet with his tears" when he spoke to the woman, and that the meeting had been a turning point in his life.

Khattabs actions were based on certain strong principles drawn from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. They can be summed up as follows: The objective of jihad should be the establishment of the religion of Allah, there is no negotiation with the enemy, the fight should not end until the enemys threat was totally removed, jihad does not depend on the life of a leader, leadership does not mean comfortable position, unity is the most important requisite for fighting against Russia. He also stressed the need for treating civilians gently and not doing any harm to them.

Samir had been seeking martyrdom for the past 14 years, Mansour said. He failed to achieve it in Afghanistan, then he sought it in Tajikistan. He was again disappointed, so went to Chechnya where finally Allah granted it to him, the brother said with pride.

Samir was married to a Dagistani woman and has three children.

© May 2002 Arabia Online Ltd. All rights reserved


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07-19-2007, 03:25 AM

JazaakAllaah Khayr for posting this thread. May Allaah (SWT) have mercy on Ameer Khattab and accept him as a Shaheed. Aameen.

Commander of the Foreign Mujahideen in the Caucasus
Nickname or 'nom de guerre': Ibn-ul-Khattab, also known as Khattab
Real name: Undisclosed
Position: Ameer (Commander) of the Foreign Mujahideen Forces in the Caucasus
Born: 1970
Nationality: GCC Member State in the Arabian Gulf
Languages spoken: Arabic, Russian, English, Pushto
Birthplace: Arabian Gulf
Experience in Jihad: 12 years
Lands of Jihad visited: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya

"If you would have told me in Afghanistan that a day will come when we will be fighting the Russians INSIDE Russia, I would never have believed you."

Born in the Arabian Gulf, Khattab was brought up in a relatively wealthy and educated family. He grew up to be a brave and strong teenager, who was known to be daring and fearless. After mastering the English language, he obtained a place in an American High School in 1987. 1987 was the peak of the Afghan Jihad against the invading army of the (then) Soviet Union. Youngsters from all over the Muslim world were flocking to Afghanistan after responding to the calls of Jihad made by Islamic personalities such as Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (assassinated 1989), Sheikh Tamim Adnani (died 1988) and Usama bin Ladin. Miraculous accounts of heroic feats and daring displays of valour against the World Superpower were reaching the ears of the Muslims. As the time approached for him to leave for a new life of education in the U.S., Khattab decided to follow many of his friends and relatives to Afghanistan for a short visit. Since the day he waved good-bye to his parents and family, at the end of 1987, he has never returned home since.

One of the Mujahideen describes the young teenage Khattab who arrived at his first training camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan:
"The training camp near Jalalabad was full of brothers coming and leaving almost every day. We were preparing for a large operation against the Russians and those brothers who had completed their training were packing their bags and leaving the camp to go to the front-line. As we were preparing to leave for the front-line, a group of new recruits arrived. It was then that I noticed a young teenage boy amongst the new recruits: 16-17 years old, with long hair and a beard that had not yet begun to grow fully yet. Immediately, he went to the commanders of the training camp and starting pleading with them to let him go to the Front-line. The commanders obviously refused to send a young untrained boy to the Front without any training. I went over, greeted him and asked him his name. He replied, 'Ibn-ul-Khattab'"

Khattab completed his training and then went to the Front. One of his trainers was Hassan As-Sarehi, the Commander of the famous Lion's Den operation in Jaji, Afghanistan, 1987. [Hassan As-Sarehi has been imprisoned in Ar-Ruwais Concentration Camp, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia since 1996 on allegations of a crime whose accusees have already been executed.] Over the next six years, this young boy was to turn into one of the bravest and most formidable Mujahideen commanders that the world has known in the 20th Century. He was known for his refusal to duck from oncoming fire and his refusal to show pain after an injury. From ambushes to operations to raids, he fought the Soviet Regular and Special Forces, being present in all the major operations in the Afghan Jihad between 1988 and 1993, including the conquests of Jalalabad, Khost and Kabul. He escaped death on a number of occasions, as it his time had not yet arrived.

One of the Mujahideen describes how Khattab was once shot in the stomach by a 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun bullet in Afghanistan. (12.7mm ammunition is used to pierce armour and to break through fortified positions: it makes mincemeat out of human flesh, as any military expert will testify.):

"During one of the operations, we were sitting in the room of a small house in the Second Line. It was evening time and the fighting on the Front Line was very tough. A few moments later, Khattab entered the room; his face was looking pale, but other than that he seemed to act normal. He came in, walked very slowly to the other side of the room and sat down next to us. Khattab was unusually quiet, so the brothers sensed that something must be wrong, even though he did not even flinch once nor show any signs of pain. We asked him if he had got hurt; he replied that on the Front, he had received a light injury, nothing serious. One of the brothers then went over to him to see the injury. Khattab refused to let him see, adding that the injury was nothing serious. This brother forced Khattab to let him see and then felt his hand on Khattab's abdomen. He saw that his clothes were soaked with blood and he was bleeding heavily. We then immediately called a vehicle and rushed him to the nearest field hospital, during which he was complaining all the time that the injury was light and nothing serious."

It was in Afghanistan that Khattab lost two fingers of his right hand whilst attempting to throw a homemade grenade. The grenade exploded in his hand and two of his fingers were severed by the explosion. His fellow Mujahideen tried to persuade him to go to Peshawar for medical attention, but Khattab refused, insisting that putting some honey on the wound (like the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS) and bandaging it will do the job and that there is no need to go all the way to Peshawar. His fingers have remained in a similar bandage ever since that day.

As the Soviet Army withdrew from Afghanistan and the Communists were defeated by the Mujahideen, Khattab and a small group of friends heard about the war against the same enemy, but this time in Tajikistan. He then packed his bags and went over to Tajikistan in 1993 with a small group of brothers. Two years they stayed there fighting the Russians in snowy, mountainous terrain with a lack of proper weapons and ammunition.
After two years in Tajikistan, Khattab returned with his small group to Afghanistan, early in 1995. It was at this time that the war in Chechnya had just begun and everyone was confused as to the religious inclinations of the Chechens and the religious significance of this war.

Khattab describes his feelings when he saw the news about Chechnya on satellite television one evening in Afghanistan:

"When I saw groups of Chechens wearing headbands with 'La ilaha illalah...' (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger) written on them, and shouting takbeers (Allahu-Akbar), I decided that there was a Jihad going on in Chechnya and I must go there."

From Afghanistan, Khattab travelled with a group of eight of his fellow Mujahideen, direct to Chechnya, arriving there in the Spring of 1995. The next four years were to make Khattab's exploits in Afghanistan and Tajikistan look like games in a nursery playground. According to official Russian statistics, more Russian soldiers were killed in three years of the war in Chechnya than were killed in the entire ten-year Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Khattab was joined by a few more of his fellow Mujahideen from Afghanistan and they set about training the local Chechens in both military warfare and Islamic knowledge. They carried out a number of daring operations against the Russians inside Chechnya (Khartashoi, 1995; Shatoi, 1996; Yashmardy, 1996) and Russia itself (Dagestan, 1997 and now, 1999).
One of his most daring operations was the Ambush of Shatoi on 16 April 1996, in which he led a group of 50 Mujahideen to annihilate a convoy of 50 Russian vehicles leaving Chechnya. Official Russian military sources said that 223 Russian soldiers were killed (including 26 senior officers) and every single vehicle was destroyed. This operation led to the sacking of two or three senior Russian Generals in Moscow and Boris Yeltsin announced news of the operation to the Russian Parliament. Five of the Mujahideen were martyred in that operation. The entire operation was filmed and clips and photographs of it can be seen at http://www.azzam.com in the Photo Library section.

A few months after that, his group carried out a raid on a Russian Army barracks, destroying Russian helicopter gunships with AT-3 Sagger wire-guided anti-tank missiles. Again, this entire operation, including the destruction of the helicopters was filmed.

A group of his fighters also participated in the famous Grozny offensive of August 1996, led by Shamil Basayev. He also came to the scene on 22 December 1997, in which he led a group of 100 Chechen and Foreign Mujahideen 100km inside Russian territory and attacked the headquarters of the 136 Motorised Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army. 300 Russian vehicles were destroyed and scores of Russian troops were killed. Two Mujahideen were killed in this operation, including one of Khattab's senior most commanders from Afghanistan, Commander Abu Bakr Aqeedah.

After the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Chechnya in the Autumn of 1996, Khattab was proclaimed a national hero in Chechnya. He was presented with a medal of courage and bravery by the Chechen Government and assigned an official rank of General, in a ceremony attended by Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev, the most brilliant commanders of the Chechen war. Before General Jawhar Dudayev was killed, he held Khattab in the utmost respect. This was a respect earned by his actions, not by his words.

Khattab believes in the Jihad of media. He was once reported as saying: "Allah orders us to fight the disbelievers as they fight us. They fight us with media and propaganda, so we should also fight them with our media." For this reason, he is insistent on filming each and every one of his operations. It is said that he possesses a library of hundreds of video cassettes from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. He believes that words alone are not enough to answer false claims of the enemy's media: video footage must answer those claims. He has also taken extensive video footage of the destruction of the Russian forces in the recent Dagestan operation, August 1999, which shows hundreds of Russian dead, several times more than the 'official' Russian figure of 40 soldiers killed. This video can be found in the Jihad in Chechnya section of Azzam Publications's web-site.

Khattab has been likened by many Muslims as the 'Khalid bin Waleed of our times'. He firmly believes that his death will only come at the time written and appointed by Allah, not a minute earlier and not a minute later. He has escaped death and assassination attempts on many occasions, the closest of which was when he was driving a four tonne Russian truck, which was bombed by the Russians. The truck was blown to pieces as was his passenger, but Khattab survived without a scratch.

He is intelligent, brave and has a strong personality. He is well-liked by his soldiers, but known as someone you cannot play games with. He regularly checks upon his soldiers, solving any personal problems they have and giving them money from his own pocket to go and spend in the shops. He has a team of highly-trained and experienced commanders, each one of whom is capable of taking over his role were he to be killed.

In an advice to the Muslims around the world, he once said:

"The main thing that prevents all of us from coming to Jihad is our families. All of us who came here, came without our family's permission. If we had listened to our families and gone back home, who would carry on this work that we are doing? Every time I telephone my mother, even now she asks me to come home, even though I have not seen her for the last 12 years. If I was to go back to visit my mother, who would continue this work?"

Khattab's ambition is to carry on fighting the Russians until they leave every piece of Muslim land, from the Caucasus to the Central Asian Republics. He once said: "We know the Russians and we know their tactics. We know their weak points; and that is why it is easier for us to fight them than to fight other armies."

False media propaganda has accused Khattab of carrying out terrorist acts around the world. Anyone who has read this article with an unbiased mind will know that Khattab's nature is to confront the enemy face to face. And if fighting soldiers and armies who destroy your peoples' lives, turn your women into widows and your children into orphans, amounts to terrorism, then let history bear witness that Khattab is a terrorist.

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Twenty years on, there is no Soviet Union, and what remains of it is being invaded by the Mujahideen forces created as a result of that invasion, which was perhaps the biggest mistake ever made by a Government in the 20th Century.

"A small group. They are the ones who carry ambitions for the Muslim Ummah. And an even smaller group from this small group. They are the ones who sacrifice their personal worldly interests in order to act upon those ambitions. And an even smaller group from this elite. They are the ones who sacrifice their souls and their blood in order to bring victory to these ambitions and convictions. So, they are a small group within a small group within a small group."

[Shaheed Dr Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, assassinated 1989].

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