Atef, Muhammad (C. 1944–2001)

aka Abu Hafs, Abu Hafs el-Masry el-Khabir, Taysir, Sheikh Taysir Abdullah, Abu Khadijah

A former Egyptian police officer regarded as being one of Osama bin Laden's closest advisers, Muhammad Atef is said to have been a key planner of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. Atef, often described as the chief military commander of Al Qaeda, died on November 15, 2001, during the U.S. bombings near Kabul, Afghanistan.

Little is known about Atef's early life; by the mid-1970s, he was a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and is said to have become top lieutenant. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who would later become known as the philosopher of Al Qaeda, commanded the group. Islamic Jihad, which supports strict Islamic governance instead of secular government for Muslim nations, is often described as a major ...

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