Tuesday, January 01, 2013

`Abdullah `Azzam: Bin Laden's Mentor

There is surprisingly very little written about this fanatical Islamist figure, `Abdullah `Azzam.  There is a very informative profile of him by Saqr Abu Fakhr in the Palestine supplement of As-Safir from March 5, 2012.   (But Abu Fakhr got the time of the first meeting between Bin Laden and `Azzam wrong: it was not in 1983, but in late 1970s when Bin Laden was still a student in Saudi Arabia and `Azzam was on a speaking fund raising tour.)  The Fath movement provided cover for the cells of fighters loyal to `Azzam prior to Black September but the Jordanian regime spared them during the massacres due to the ties of the religious kooks with Jordanian intelligence.  After returning from Al-Azhar, the Jordanian regime was more than glad to allow the militant `Azzam to rant and rave against leftists and secularits in the Arab world.  I still don't know who killed him although divergent theories abound.