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SITE Publications
A Story of the Capture of Abu Hajer al-Muqrin in Somalia and Somali Neglect of Islam and Jihad
By SITE Institute
June 5, 2006

A story from a purported primary source recounting the capture in Somalia of Abu Hajer al-Muqrin, nee Abdulaziz Issa Abdul-Mohsin al-Muqrin, an al-Qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia, was recently distributed to a password-protected jihadist forum. The author writes that as the mujahideen are preparing for jihad in the African Horn, Sudan and Somalia in particular, he spoke with a Somali mujahid about the state of jihad and the mujahideen, and Abu Hajer. Arab mujahideen are stated to have had a large role in jihad against the ?Crusaders? and Ethiopians, and some were killed, captured, or left the state due to arguments with Jama?at al-Ittihad al-Islami, a designated Somali terrorist group.

Abu Hajer was allegedly ?lost? with two other mujahideen following a battle with Ethiopian soldiers, and subsequently captured by Bedouins who wanted to send them back to Somalia. However, according to the source, the ?Crusader? forces captured the Arabs and questioned Abu Hajer of his origin and his purpose for coming to the Horn. He replied to be from Saudi Arabia and stated: ?we came to fight you to leave the land of this Islamic Nation which you occupied and stole its treasures!!? From there he was chained and brought by the soldiers to three Ethiopian cities where he spoke to the people and provoked them with his words until they tried to release him. Abu Hajer was then delivered to the Saudi embassy in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

In addition to the passage about Abu Hajer, the message tells another story in Somalia about an encounter between Arab Mujahideen and Somali children, expressing the purported neglect of Islam and the Somalis ?forgetting their Arabic accent and their honorable origin? until immigrant mujahideen arrived. The author writes that these foreign Muslims established training camps and were the progenitors behind the jihad movement in Somalia.

Abu Hajer al-Muqrin is the former leader of al-Qaeda Organization in Saudi Arabia and previously number one on Saudi Arabia?s 26 most wanted list. He was responsible for the beheading of Paul Johnson, an American employee of Lockheed-Martin killed in Saudi Arabia in June 2004. Abu Hajer was killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces on June 18, 2004 while depositing Johnson?s body in Riyadh.

A translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.

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