Abu Hamza Rabia

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Abu Hamza Rabia
Born 1960
Died 2005-11-30
Nationality Egypt
Known for believed to have been an al Qaeda leader

Abu Hamza Rabia (c. 1960 -- November 30, 2005) was an Egyptian member of al-Qaeda, described in news accounts as a high-ranking leader within the organization's hierarchy. His death, in a surprise drone attack, was widely reported by media outlets around the world.[1][2][3]

According to American intelligence officials, Rabia was al-Qaeda's third in command. Few details have been made available about his background, although CNN reports confirmed his Egyptian origins and indicated that he was in his thirties.[1] He and four other men, two of them also Arabs, were killed in the village of Asoray, near Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan.[2] His death stirred controversy because it was Pakistani policy that US forces were not allowed in the country.[1][4] Initially US and Pakistani authorities denied that the surprise airstrike was launched from a US predator drone.

In a subsequent development, the murder of local journalist Hayatullah Khan, whose body was found months after his disappearance, was tied to his investigation into Rabia's death.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Al Qaeda No. 3 dead, but how?". CNN. December 4, 2005. http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/12/03/pakistan.rabia/. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Whitlock, Craig and Khan, Kamran (December 4, 2005). "Blast in Pakistan Kills Al Qaeda Commander: Figure Reportedly Hit by U.S. Missile Strike". Washington Post. pp. A01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/03/AR2005120301473_pf.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10. "Intelligence officials said Rabia, an Egyptian, had replaced Abu Faraj Libbi, another al Qaeda leader who was captured in Pakistan in May. Libbi had taken over the role held by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States who was also caught in Pakistan, in March 2003." 
  3. "Blast 'kills al-Qaeda commander'". BBC News. 3 December 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4494428.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-10. "Egyptian-born Abu Hamza Rabia, described as al-Qaeda's operational commander, was among five militants killed in a blast in North Waziristan." 
  4. "Shrapnel Points to Drone in Pakistan Attack". Fox News. December 5, 2005. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177709,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10. "U.S. officials have refused to give details of the attack on the house where Hamza Rabia reportedly died, but they have told FOX News that it was a joint operation involving U.S. and Pakistani resources." 
  5. Khan, Aamer Ahmed (19 June 2006). "Mystery of murdered tribal journalist". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5096008.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-10.