Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have both published eulogies commemorating Hammam Attiyah, an Egyptian who led Ajnad Misr (the Soldiers of Egypt) until his demise earlier this month. Ajnad Misr is a designated terrorist organization that has committed numerous attacks in Cairo and elsewhere, targeting mainly Egyptian military and security personnel.
Little is known about Attiyah (also known as Majid al Din al Masri), whose face was never shown in Ajnad Misr’s propaganda. The Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, which is affiliated with jihadists in Egypt and Gaza, has posted the image seen above on its Twitter feed, claiming it shows Attiyah.
In a statement released on April 9, Ajnad Misr identified Attiyah as a veteran jihadist who had fought in Iraq and the Sinai. “He thundered against the Crusaders in Iraq and he fought the cursed Zionists in Sinai,” the statement read, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Attiyah’s successor has already been appointed by the group’s shura (consultative) council. Ajnad Misr explained in its statement that a jihadist known as ‘Izz al Din al Masri now serves as its emir, or overall leader. Like Attiyah before him, there are few publicly-available details concerning ‘Izz al Din al Masri’s background.
Despite his low public profile, Attiyah was important enough in jihadist circles to receive eulogies from two of al Qaeda’s regional branches.