Jihadists on Twitter are claiming that a Saudi al Qaeda operative named Adel Radi Saker al Wahabi al Harbi was recently killed in Syria. The US Treasury Department designated al Harbi as a terrorist in October 2012, saying that he was “a key member of an al Qaeda network operating in Iran” at the time. The State Department offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his location.
According to several well-connected jihadists on social media, however, al Harbi relocated to Syria.
Al Harbi’s alleged death has not been confirmed by any official sources. Neither al Qaeda, nor the Al Nusrah Front, its official branch in Syria, has publicly commented on the reports of his demise.
Jihadists first claimed on April 16 that al Harbi had been killed. The details of his reported death are murky. One of the jihadists commenting on al Harbi’s “martyrdom” is an al Qaeda supporter who goes by the handle @ALseaase on Twitter. Still other jihadists have posted pictures purportedly showing al Harbi after he was killed, along with photos showing him when he was alive. Al Harbi is pictured holding children in two images. In another, he is laying in a field.
The photos of al Harbi are included at the end of this article. (One image of al Harbi is also included above.)
Al Harbi’s relocation to Syria from Iran makes sense, because his boss inside al Qaeda did the same.
When the US Treasury Department designated al Harbi in late 2012, it noted that he worked for Muhsin al Fadhli, a Kuwaiti who led al Qaeda’s network inside Iran. Al Harbi is “a key member of an al Qaeda network operating in Iran and led by Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator Muhsin al Fadhli,” Treasury noted.