Jihadi Media Pioneer Drowns, Friend Explains How They Met Online

The Sumud Squadron announced last week that one of its founding members, Abu al-Haytham al-Shamali, had drowned.  According to the statement, Abu al-Haytham had established a number of media brigades and squadrons, including the Ghuraba Brigade and the Sumud Squadron.  He was also known on the forums for his postings on security and propaganda.  The statement gives the following as his online aliases:

  • مخابرات المجاهد on Ekhlaas, Hesbah, Shumukh, and others
  • عيون المجاهد on Faloja
  • أبو عاصم المغربي when meeting with hadith scholars
  • عالي الهمة on the Alukah forum
  • أبو الهيثم النقشبندي on the Ana Muslim forum
  • al-monsif as a supervisor on the Shamal Room forum

On Faloja, a member posted a letter from Faris al-Khafa’ (Knight of Secrecy), who claims to know Abu al-Haytham personally.  Faris says that he met Abu al-Haytham on the forums and did not realize initially that they were from the same country.  Abu al-Haytham wanted to meet him so they engaged in subterfuge for several weeks (dissimulation, changing online IDs) until a meeting could be arranged.  They finally met under the pretext of attending a teaching session by a local cleric.  Faris says they were both nervous to disclose their true identities, but after Abu al-Haytham praised the writings of a prominent forum member, Faris revealed himself to be that member.

Faris says that Abu al-Haytham was born and raised in Morocco and that he became a Jihadi soon after 9/11.  In addition to affirming Abu al-Haytham’s forum and media activities, Faris relates that he was one of the founders of a site devoted to Abu Uways (presumably this one).  He is also a big fan of Abu al-Fadl `Umar b. Mas`ud al-Hadushi (whose writings are found on Abu Uways’s site).  Abu al-Haytham had obtained teaching certificates for the six canoncial Sunni books of hadith from Hadushi.

As for Abu al-Haytham’s death, Faris explains that he was a deepsea diver by profession and drowned while on a dive.

Document (Arabic): 9-26-08-shamikh-sumud-announcement-of-death-of-important-jihadi-media-personality-abu-al-haytham-al-shamali

Document (Arabic): 9-30-08-faloja-bio-of-abu-al-haytham

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