The 21st Century Phenomenon




* Amir Khattab can be translated as Commander Khattab, also known as Ibn al-Khattab, was born in Saudi Arabia on 04/14/1969 as Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem. In 1985, at the age of 16, Amir  Khattab left Saudi Arabia to join the Mujahidin (Holy Warriors) in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Amir  Khattab met, briefly, with Osama Bin Laden but did not keep in contact with him.

After the War in Afghanistan ended in 1989 Amir  Khattab remained in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan and developed good relations with Ahmed Said Khadr family and especially with the younger son Abdulkareem Khadr. 

From 1992 to 1994, Amir  Khattab fought alongside the Islamic opposition in Tajikistan in a civil war against former communists loyal to Emomalii Rahmon, in which the Islamic militia lost, and he was forced to flee the country to Afghanistan in 1994.

According to his brother, he first heard about the Chechen conflict on an Afghan television channel in 1995. Amir  Khattab traveled to Chechnya and joined the Islamic insurgency in full cooperation with Shamil Basayev. In Chechnya Amir  Khattab acted as an intermediary financier between foreign Muslim funding sources and the local fighters. His unit successfully ambushed, time and again, Russian units and inflicted heavy casualties to the Russians in the mountains of South Chechnya.

After the first war against the Russian ended in 1996 Amir  Khattab was awarded by the first Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev with the highest Chechen medals for his military performances.

The Russians issued in 1996 an international arrest warrant, through the Interpol,  against Amir  Khattab for leading the Arab Mijahidin (Holy Warriors) in Chechnya.

In 1997, despite the peace treaty with Chechnya, Amir  Khattab joined Dagestan Muslim rebels in the neighbor regions of Chechnya and carried on with successful attacks on Russian units. In the same year, Amir  Khattab survived a land mine assassination attempt in Chechnya. 

In 1998 Amir  Khattab formed with Shamil Basayev the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade – IIPB also known as The Islamic International Brigade, and with that brigade he launched in 08/1999 a large scale invasion to neighbor Dagestan which claimed the life of few hundreds and helped to provoke the second war against the Russians in late 1999 (see – DAGESTAN WAR ).

As in the past Amir  Khattab Muslim International Brigade fought successfully the Russians. On the night of 03/19/2002 Amir  Khattab was killed by a Dagestani messenger, hired by the Russian secret service the FSB, who gave him a poisoned letter.  The double agent messenger, known as Ibrahim, was reportedly tracked down and killed a month later in Azerbaijan on Shamil Basayev’s order.

Amir  Khattab – Samir Saleh Abdullah Al-Suwailem, the most successful anti Russian warrior in Chechnya was replaced by the Saudi Amir Abu al-Walid also known as Walid al-Ghamdi. His associate, Mohamad M. Shaaban, was killed in Dagestan, on 02/02/2010. 


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