July 28, 2008 | FDD’s Long War Journal

Report: Al Qaeda WMD expert Abu Khabab thought killed in South Waziristan strike

Abu-Khabab.jpg

Abu Khabab, via the US Rewards for Justice website.

A Pakistani intelligence official claimed al Qaeda weapons expert Midhat Mursi al Sayyid Umar, better known as Abu Khabab, was killed in this morning's airstrike in South Waziristan.

“We believe he was killed in this strike,” a senior intelligence official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “It was his hide-out and information that has been shared with us says he was targeted in this strike.”

Six Pakistanis, including three foreigner terrorists, were reported killed in the airstrike, which hit either a madrassa or a home next to a mosque.

Abu Khabab and four other senior al Qaeda commanders were reported to have been killed in an airstrike in the town of Damadola in the Bajaur tribal agency in January 2006. The US military believed the safehouse in Bajaur, which was run by Taliban chieftain Faqir Mohammed, was sheltering Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's second in command. Khabab and the other commanders were later found to be still alive.

The US Rewards for Justice Program has a $5 million bounty out for the capture of Khabab.

Khabab has a long history of working with al Qaeda's secretive weapons of mass destruction program, which is known as al Zabadi, or 'œcurdled milk.” Project al Zabadi is al weapons of mass destruction program.

Khabab “operated a terrorist training camp at Derunta, Afghanistan where he provided hundreds of Mujahidin with hands-on training in the use of poisons and explosives.” the Rewards for Justice Website states. “Since 1999, he has distributed training manuals that contain instructions for making chemical and biological weapons. Some of these training manuals were recovered by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.”

Dan Darling reported on Khabab's history with the Egyptian military and al Qaeda for The Long War Journal in September 2005.

A former scientist in the Egyptian chemical weapons program, Khabab, turned against the government of Anwar Sadat the peace treaty with Israel in 1977. Khabab joined Ayman al-Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad, where he served as an explosives expert and poison trainer for the group.

After Egyptian Islamic Jihad merged with al Qaeda, he became the head of Project al Zabadi. The program largely focused on chemical and biological weapons, and devices to disperse the agents. Evidence of project al Zabadi's operations has turned up throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.


For more information on Abu Khabab and al Qaeda's weapons of mass destruction program, see:

Abu Khabab and Project al ZabadiThe Long War Journal
Al Qaeda's Mad ScientistThe Weekly Standard

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