The Bosnian Jihad: Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair

Name: Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair

ISN #: 669

Citizenship: Saudi Arabia

Birth Date/Year: 1973

Alleged Affiliation: “Freelance Terrorist” who worked with multiple jihadist groups, including al Qaeda.

Key Allegation(s): Zuhair is responsible for the murder of UN employee William Jefferson in 1995, as well as a car bombing in Bosnia in September of 1997.

Details of Capture: Pakistani Authorities captured Zuhair in 2001.

Current Status: As of late 2008, Zuhair was reportedly being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Profile:

Hundreds of jihadists flocked to Bosnia in the early 1990™s to fight the Serbs. Among them, is Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair. There is no doubt that Zuhair, a Saudi native, is a terrorist – he was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Bosnian Supreme court in April of 2000. But Zuhair did not serve his sentence. Instead, he was a fugitive living in the Taliban™s Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The U.S. government™s files, as well as other sources, detail Zuhair™s terrorist career. He was, at first, a member of the Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina, serving alongside other foreign mujahideen who were placed in special units. Zuhair was no professional soldier, however. According to John R. Schindler, a former NSA analyst who has studied Bosnia extensively, Zuhair was a menace to civilians. In Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa™ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad, Schindler explains, “[Zuhair] was reported to have participated in massacres of Croatian civilians during the war, and a witness fingered [Zuhair] as one of the mujahidin who had attacked her village in September 1993; the Saudi had threatened to kill her fourteen-year-old son with a knife.”

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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