Abu Osama al-Masri
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Abu Osama al-Masri
أبو أسامة المصري
|Died||June 2018 (aged 45)|
|Cause of death||Airstrike|
|Other names||Abu Osama al-Masri|
|Alma mater||Al-Azhar University|
|Known for||Emir of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sinai Province|
Muhammad Ahmad ’Ali al-Isawi, known as Abu Osama al-Masri (Arabic: أبو أسامة المصري) (1973-June 2018) was an Egyptian jihadist and leader of the Islamic State branch in the Sinai Peninsula, known as Wilayat Sinai.
Abu Osama was said to be 42 years old as of 2015. He is reported to have been a clothing importer who studied at al-Azhar University, a top Sunni institution in Cairo. Prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution he is believed to have been imprisoned for some time.
In October 2014, he was believed to have traveled to Syria with about 20 followers when security forces clamped down on militants after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was deposed in the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.
Abu Osama was a member of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the previous name of the group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Islamic State in Sinai
For much of his time in the group he served as head media spokesman.
In May 2015 a recording surfaced where Abu Osama called for attacks against Egyptian judges, saying: "It is wrong for the tyrants [judges] to jail our brothers, Poison their food... surveil them at home and in the street... destroy their homes with explosives if you can."
In the summer of 2015 they released a video showing the beheading of four Bedouin people, whom they accused of passing information to Israeli spies to assist in drone strikes. They have also conducted raids into Israel including an attack on the tourist area of Eilat and a gas pipeline.
In November 2015, he became a person of interest in the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268. He claimed responsibility saying “We are the ones who downed it [Metrojet Flight 9268] by the grace of Allah, and we are not compelled to announce the method that brought it down.”
He became leader of Wilayah Sinai in August 2016. A video titled "The Path of Rationality From Darkness to Light" claimed he was killed in June 2018 during an airstrike. On a propaganda video created by ISIS-Wilaya Sinai on the 15th of November 2018, the group released a voice recording by him whilst confirming his death.
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- Sykes, Selina (9 November 2015). "Is this the man behind Russia plane crash? Shadowy cleric HUNTED over masterminding plot". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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- Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed (25 February 2015). "ISIL's International Expansion: What Does Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis's Oath of Allegiance Mean?". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
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- "Province of Sinai video claims former police and military personnel among its ranks, confirms death of Islamic State Sinai leader". Mada Masr. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2019.