Abu Hafs al-Urduni

Abu Hafs al-Urduni

name =

Abu Hafs Al-Urduni
( _ar. ابو حفص الاردني)
3d Amir of the
Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya

birth_date = 1973
birth_place =
death_date = November 26, 2006
death_place =
predecessor = Abu al-Walid
successor = Muhannad

Abu Hafs al-Urduni (ابو حفص الاردني) (born Jordan, 1973, died November 26, 2006), also transliterated as Abu Hafs al-Urdani was a Mujahid Emir (commander) fighting in Chechnya. After Abu al-Walid’s death in April 2004, he assumed command of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya. He was killed in Dagestan on November 26, 2006.


Early life

Most of whatever little is known about al-Urduni, is known through the Russian media. It is however fairly certain that his given name is Farid Yusef Umeira, that he was born in Jordan and that he participated in the Afghan-Soviet war and the Tajik civil war along with Khattab and al-Walid. With the latter two he came to Chechnya in 1995 where he would remain until his death. He would also marry two Chechen women. [http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=411&issue_id=3293&article_id=2369570 The Jamestown Foundation; ABU HAFS AND THE FUTURE OF ARAB FIGHTERS IN CHECHNYA] ]

Chechen Wars

In the First and Second Chechen War he fought in the battalion of Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya under Khattab and, after Khattab’s death, as al-Walid’s deputy. After al-Walid’s death in 2004, al-Urduni succeeded him as Amir of the battalion and issued a video statement about al-Walid’s death, much the same way as al-Walid had done with his own predecessor, Khattab. As commander of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya, al-Urduni faced increasingly harsh conditions for himself and his unit of foreign fighters. Apart from the loss of their most prominent commanders and the relentless hunt for separatists by the Russian Federal Forces, funding for the battalion had also become a major problem due to anti-terrorism measures restricting financial transactions. name="Jamestown"/>

Alleged links to al-Qaeda

The name of Abu Hafs al-Urduni is often mentioned in connection with al-Qaeda. Russian intelligence sources and media have repeatedly accused him of being al-Qaeda’s emissary in the Caucasus. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20061126/56007012.html RIA Novosti; FSB confirms elimination of Al Qaeda's emissary in N. Caucasus -1] ] His name is also found in a presentation of Colin Powell, then U.S. Secretary of State at the Security Council in February 2003 just before the Iraq War, where al-Urduni was stated to be part of a supposed international network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/powell-slides/40.html Colin Powell Slide 40] ] [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/powell-slides/43.html Colin Powell Slide 43] ]

In an interview with Kavkaz Center, al-Urduni once expressed his sympathy with al-Qaeda and Osama bin-Laden, although he did not admit to being part of the organization. [ [http://old.kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2006/11/12/6388.shtml KavkazCenter; Abu Hafs: Youth Is Going Out For Jihad] ] On a different occasion he condemned the Beslan hostage crisis and denied personal involvement. Whether or not he was an agent of al-Qaeda or if there are, or have been, any formal ties between the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya and al-Qaeda remains unclear.


November 26, 2006, Abu Hafs al-Urduni was killed in a gunfight with Russian special forces in Khasav-Yurt, Dagestan. Russian sources claim the fire fight lasted for four hours, and that four other rebels were killed in the encounter. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20061126/56004290.html RIA Novosti; Last aide to late warlord Khattab killed in Dagestan - FSB] ] KavkazCenter later confirmed al-Urduni’s death, but claims only two other rebels were killed in the fighting. [ [http://old.kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2006/11/29/6586.shtml KavkazCenter; Martyrdom of Abu Hafs Confirmed By Chechen Military Command] ] December 9, 2006, Qoqaz News, the Chechen Mujahideen online news agency, reported that Muhannad had succeeded al-Urduni as commander of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya. [ [http://siteinstitute.org/bin/articles.cgi?ID=publications234006&Category=publications&Subcategory=0 Site Institute; The Commander Muhannad Assumes the Leadership of the Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya Following the Death of Abu Hafs al-Urduni] ]


ee also

* Abu Omar al-Saif
* Abu Zaid
* Dagestan War
* Mujahideen in Chechnya

External links

* [http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=409&issue_id=3219&article_id=2369196 The Jamestown Foundation; ABU HAFS AL-URDANI: THE QUIET MUJAHID]
* [http://jamestown.org/chechnya_weekly/article.php?articleid=2369881 The Jamestown Foundation’s Chechnya Weekly; The Rise and Fall of Foreign Fighters in Chechnya]
* [http://www.watchdog.cz/index.php?show=000000-000004-000001-000203&lang=1 Prague Watchdog; The radicalisation of the Chechen separatist movement: Myth or reality?]
* [http://www.globalterroralert.com/chechnya0904.pdf GlobalTerrorAlert; Communiqué from Abu Hafs al-Urdani (Jordan), Commander of the Foreign Mujahideen in Chechnya] (PDF)
* [http://siteinstitute.org/bin/articles.cgi?ID=publications229906&Category=publications&Subcategory=0 Site Institute; Qoqaz News Confirms Death of Chechen Mujahideen Commander Abu Hafs al-Urduni]

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