and Russia's Defense and Security
("Chechnya's Osama Bin Laden," Alexander Shvarev, October 11, 2004) report that the Russian secret services have obtained a photo
Image from Mosnews [with a credit to www.state.gov]
and detailed biography of Abu Hafs (also spelled 'Abu Khavs'
and 'Abu Khab'), the new Al Qaeda representative in Chechnya. According to Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev, Abu Hafs has replaced Abu al-Walid as the manager of funding from abroad. Until recently, he was known to the secret services only by the name of Abu Hafs, but details of his career over the past decade emerged a few days ago. Before 2002, for example, he was Al Qaeda's "overseer" in Georgia, and was known as Amzhet.
According to reports:
- Abu Hafs was born in Jordan, is believed to have Saudi citizenship and is about 40 years old.
- Abu Hafs has been associated with Al Qaeda for years and has known bin Laden personally.
- In 1994, following orders of bin Laden, Abu Hafs moved to Chechnya and became an instructor at Ibn al-Khattab's training camp near Serzhen-Yurt.
- In 1996, bin Laden ordered Abu Hafs into Georgia, where he became Al Qaeda's representative and was known as Amzhet.
- He lived in the village of Tsuniban, Pankisi Gorge, had a Wahhabi fundamentalist mosque built there, as well as a hospital for guerillas in Chechnya.
- On September 11, 2001, 15 minutes after a plane crashed into the Pentagon, Russian secret services detected a call from an Al Qaeda leader to Amzhet in Georgia. The caller told Amzhet that everything was going well, but that not all the targets were hit. The fourth hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania soon after the call.
- Russian secret services poisoned Khattab in 2002, and the position of representative of international terrorist organizations in Chechnya was passed to al-Walid.
- Abu al-Walid summoned Amzhet to return to Chechnya. Fearing he might be poisoned as well, Abu Hafs brought in his own cook from Jordan. He took second wife in Chechnya, the widow of Arab field commander Abu Jafar, killed in May 2001.
- Abu Haf's roles in operational planning and distribution of funds from sponsors in Chechnya was confirmed by Ramat Kamal Burahlja (a.k.a. Abu Mushab) of Algeria, recently arrested in Chechnya. Burahlja is an explosives expert who was trained in Pankisi Gorge by Amzhet himself and is personally familiar with Abu Hafs's role in planning operations.
- Russian secret services killed Abu al-Walid in April and Abu Hafs stepped into the vacancy.
- Abu Hafs is believed to have financed the terrorist attack in Beslan, North Ossetia and a similar operation that was thwarted in Dagestan.
Labels: Abu al-Walid, Abu Hafs, al Qaeda, Al-Qa'idah, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Chechnya, Osama bin Laden, September 11