Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda Member

Hasan Qaedd, known as Abu Yahya al-Libi or “Younis Sahrawi”, was born in Libya, in 1963, and is considered one of the most famous developers of al-Qaeda international Jihad strategies. Abu Yahya was a member of the legitimacy committee of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose members went to Afghanistan to help defeat the Soviet Union. He was then sent in March 1992, to North Africa to study Islam in Mauritania, and obtained the supreme religious studies under the supervision of some Mauritanian religious scholars.

In addition, Abu Yahya went two years later to Afghanistan, which was then under the control of the Taliban, and trained in their training camps, although his previous work as a preacher was not closely related to military action.

The Great Escape:

The leaders of the Libyan fighters fled from Afghanistan, after the collapse of the Taliban regime, With the exception of Abu Yahya al-Libi who was arrested by Pakistan in 2002, and was handed over to U.S. authorities who in turn imprisoned him in Bagram military base in Kabul, where he remained until July 2005. However, he managed to escape from prison along with three other Islamists on the tenth night, by replacing the orange prison uniform with the police officers’ blue uniforms hidden in his cell, thus he walked in Bagram disguised as an American soldier carrying furniture. Hence, Abu Yahya al-Libi became known in the media as the planner of “The Great Escape”.

Nevertheless, after his escape from prison, Abu Yahya found that al Qaeda was the only active Arab organization, and thus decided with other leaders of the Libyan Fighter Group who remained in the border areas of Afghanistan, to join al-Qaeda. Abu Yahya become the leader of the Libyan forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the most prominent al-Qaeda spokesman, especially after the death of the senior commander, Abu Laith al-Libi in 2008.

Moreover, the Rewards for Justice Website, which promised a $ 5 million reward for whoever provides information about him, announced that Abu Yahya is the key in stimulating global jihad, through his letters that bear a clear threat to American interests all over the world. Also, Janet Parkman, the professor of security studies at North Dakota University, and the author of “Global Jihad”, pointed out that Abu Yahya is a young media personality, and is an ideological extremist who uses religion to justify brutal acts of terrorism.

Nevertheless, The Ministry of the Treasury added Abu Yahya to its list of terrorist suspects under an executive order signed on September 2001, and froze his funds.

Resources:

• “Bin Laden’s new successor”, al-Jazeera.net, 16/09/2009, quoting “Foreign Policy”

• .”Al-Libi could succeed bin Laden”, Kamel at-Taweel, Magharebia 05/18/2011

• Middle East newspaper April 5, 2008

• Rewards for Justice Website

• Al Jazeera 9/9/2011.