Senior Chechnya Al-Qaida Member Killed in Dagestan

Another one bites the dust: Evan Kohlmann reports that the Russians have killed the “Imam of the Chechen mujahideen.”

According to various reports from credible mujahideen sources, Abu Omar Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Saif (a.k.a. Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Saif al-Jaber)–a top tier Saudi Arabian Al-Qaida commander in Chechnya and personal military advisor to Shamil Basayev–has been killed during a Russian counterterrorism operation in neighboring Dagestan. Unable to escape after Russian soldiers backed by helicopters surrounded his temporary hideout, Abu Omar allegedly detonated an explosive device he was carrying and collapsed the building on top of himself. Known as the “Imam of the Chechen mujahideen”, Abu Omar was an original founder of the Arab-Afghan mujahideen movement in Chechnya and was named by Russian officials as a suspect in numerous Caucasus-linked terrorist attacks, including the Moscow theatre siege and the Beslan school hostage massacre.

Granting that al Qaeda has more “senior leaders” than you can shake a stick at and that they seem to grow new ones without much difficulty, killing them is good on general principles.

Kohlmann has substantial background information on Abu Omar at the link.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I’m beginning to think they’re defining “senior” as “hasn’t already blown himself up.”