Fazul Abdilahi Mohammed

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (فاضل عبدالله محمد) (born August 25, 1972, February 25, 1974, or December 25, 1974) is a suspected member of al-Qaeda, sometimes purported to be the leader of their East African presence. Mohammed was born in Moroni, Comoros Islands and has Kenyan as well as Comorian citizenship. He speaks French, Swahili, Arabic, English, and Comorian.

Role in al-Qaeda

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and a number of others are under indictment in the United States for their alleged participation in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. Mohammed has been on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists since its inception on October 10, 2001. At present the reward for finding Mohammed is US$5 million.

In Kenya, Mohammed was once the secretary of, and lived in the same house as, Wadih el Hage. El-Hage was indicted with Mohammed, and has been convicted. A letter to el-Hage, thought to be from Mohammed, was exhibited at el-Hage's trial.

Mohammed is suspected in Kenya of involvement in two attacks in Mombasa on November 26, 2002. One was the truck bombing of Paradise Hotel, in which 15 were killed. The other was the launch of two shoulder-fired missiles at an Israeli airliner on takeoff; the missiles missed and there were no casualties.

On May 26, 2004, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that reports indicated that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was one of seven al-Qaeda members who were planning a terrorist action for the summer or fall of 2004. According to an FBI interrogation report, an associate of Mohammed confessed that the militant trained with al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, also on that list, was captured in Pakistan a month later. Soon thereafter, several press reports, claiming UN and official US sources, described the participation of several al-Qaeda personnel, including Mohammed and Ghailani, in the acquisition and movement of diamonds in Liberia.

When the ferry MV Bukoba sank in Lake Victoria in 1996, taking al-Qaeda co-founder Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri with it, Fazul Mohammed was one of the people sent to the scene by al-Qaeda, to try to verify that Abu Ubaidah was dead and had not in fact defected.

Suspected Involvement in Somali Conflict

In early 2007, during the War in Somalia, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was thought to be in the border area near Ras Kamboni, along with remnants of the Islamic Courts Union. On January 8, 2007, a US Air Force AC-130 gunship targeted al-Qaeda in the area. It is likely he was one of the targets as The Pentagon has said the "target of the strike was the principal al-Qaeda leadership in the region. Somali government officials said that his death was confirmed in an intelligence report provided to Somali authorities by the United States. However, in an interview with the BBC, the US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, denied that Mohammed had been killed in the airstrike, and stated that the search for the three al-Qaeda suspects continues. The gunship attack resulted in the deaths of at least 70 civilian nomads and many more injuries as they were searching for a water source at night.Mohammed's remains, if they are found, can be identified by aid of a DNA sample taken in Comoros.

One of Mohammed's wives and her children were captured trying to escape to Kenya from Somalia. They were arrested in Kiunga and brought to Nairobi for questioning. Before Mohammed's wife was deported back to Somalia by the Kenyan government a computer in her possession thought to have been Fazul's was seized and was said to have "contained vital information on terrorism training and intelligence collection including spying". Mohammed is believed to "be very good with computers".

Current Whereabouts

While it was never confirmed that Mohammed escaped from the fighting in Somalia or had even been there when the violence broke out, Madagascar's largest newspaper, Midi Madagasikara reported in early February 2007 that Mohammed was now on the island nation. Quoting military and "other sources" the paper claimed he was in the city of Majunga. A partner of his from the Comoros now lives on the island.

On August 2, 2008 he escaped a police dragnet in Malindi, Kenya, but two of his aides were arrested. He was said to have been sneaked to Kenya from Somalia a few days earlier seeking treatment for kidney problems. The police confiscated two of his passports and a a laptop among other belongings. The police operation took place only days before the 10th anniversary of 1998 Embassy bombings .


Throughout his career, he has used many aliases. As well, there are many alternate spellings of his name. Thus he may appear under the following different names in reports: Abdallah Fazul, Abdalla Fazul, Abdallah Mohammed Fazul, Fazul Abdilahi Mohammed, Fazul Adballah, Fazul Abdalla, Fazul Mohammed, Haroon, Harun, Haroon Fazul, Harun Fazul, Haroun Fazul, Fadil Abdallah Muhamad, Fadhil Haroun, Abu Seif Al Sudani, Abu Aisha, Abu Luqman, Fadel Abdallah Mohammed Ali, and Fouad Mohammed. current location unknow

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