First Published: 2004-06-21

 
Ex-policeman takes over Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia
 

Reports Saleh al-Oufi designated Al-Qaeda chief in Arabian peninsula, is most dangerous of network's lieutenants.

 

Middle East Online

Al-Oufi (top left) was in the shadows while al-Muqrin was in charge

RIYADH - A former Saudi police officer has taken over as leader of the Al-Qaeda network on the Arabian peninsula after security forces killed Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin in a gunbattle in Riyadh, Arab media reported Monday.

Saleh Mohammad al-Oufi, 38, who is number four on the kingdom's list of most wanted militants, "has been designated Al-Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia, succeeding Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin," Asharq al-Awsat said.

The Saudi-owned daily published in London sourced the news to Al-Qaeda itself without further detail.

The Saudi Institute, which bills itself as an independent news outfit based in Washington, quoted "intelligence" to confirm al-Oufi's appointment.

It said the one-time police officer, born in Medina, joined "terrorist networks in Afghanistan, and Bosnia where he was injured and returned to Saudi Arabia in 1995.

"Al-Oufi was in the shadows while al-Muqrin was in charge, because he was busy running the secret Al-Qaeda camps in Saudi Arabia. He was essentially responsible for training, recruitment, and logistics," the institute said.

"Saleh al-Oufi is the most dangerous" of the Al-Qaeda lieutenants left alive in Saudi Arabia, said Al-Hayat, also Saudi-owned and published from London.

Islamist web sites used as information channels by Al-Qaeda have either not posted the succession news or remained inaccessible since Sunday, when a statement in the name of the network announced that the succession to al-Muqrin had been prepared and the jihad or holy war would go on.

Al-Muqrin became the Al-Qaeda leader in the kingdom after Yemeni Khaled Ali Haj was killed in March this year as Sauid Arabia hunted down the extremists.

Asharq al-Awsat said the previous chief of the network on the Arabian peninsula, Yussef Al-Ayri, was also shot dead in June last year, a month after a series of suicide bombings started in the kingdom.

 

Iran airs "confessions" of researcher facing death for spying

Mayor of Libya's Misrata assassinated

Macron sees war on IS in Syria will be won in February

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Kuwait likely to face political uncertainty

Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British embassy worker

Israel targets Hamas site in Gaza

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities