Mousa bin Abdallah Zahmi al Shihri. Source: Twitter.
A Twitter account affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) posted a eulogy on Oct. 29 in honor of a fighter killed in the attack on the Wadiya border crossing that spilled into the Saudi town of Sharurah on July 4.
Mousa bin Abdallah Zahmi al Shihri, also known as Abu al Baraa al Adnani, was born to a conservative religious family and raised in Riyadh. Mousa subsequently relocated to the town of Tanoumah in southeastern Saudi Arabia and joined the Saudi military after completing his schooling there. He reportedly served in the military “till Allah graced him and removed him from the ranks of the friends of the devil to the ranks of the friends of the Merciful [Allah].”
According to the eulogy, Mousa al Shihri was arrested without charge by Saudi intelligence in 2004 in order to pressure his brother Youssef, who was wanted by the authorities, into surrendering himself. Mousa’s time in prison is described as “good for him,” and when he was able to contact his family following several months of incarceration, he was informed of the birth of his son Baraa.
Mousa’s eulogy claims that the Saudi intelligence services’ plot to force his brother Youssef to surrender himself failed miserably, and that therefore the Saudis arranged a family visit for Mousa under the guise of humanitarianism and human rights. Once his family arrived for the visit, they were all detained “as hostages” by the Saudi authorities. Although Mousa and his older brother Abd al Rahman were already in prison, authorities “held a whole family captive … forcing Youssef to turn himself in with this criminal act.” When the inmates demanded the release of Mousa’s family, Saudi authorities let them go after they promised that Youssef would turn himself in.
The eulogy notes that the dramatic story regarding Mousa’s brother Youssef caused some to wonder about the identity of this vague character. Due to the Saudi authorities’ efforts to detain him, some even believed that he might be Youssef al Ayeri, the leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia who was killed in 2003. The eulogy explains that Mousa’s brother was wanted not for any crime he committed, but rather due to information he had about other wanted individuals in Saudi Arabia. When Youssef discovered the fate of his brother Mousa and his family at the hands of the Saudi authorities, he allegedly surrendered himself and became the third Shihri brother imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
Mousa al Shihri was not released after Youssef turned himself in, and spent close to eight years in a Saudi jail. During his imprisonment, Mousa memorized the Qur’an and delved into Islamic studies while he was subjected to false charges and torture regularly. The three Shihri brothers were separated in prison, with Abd al Rahman in Alisha prison in Riyadh, and Mousa and Youssef in separate cells in the Asir prison.
In 2011, Mousa was released, and two months later he “joined his mujahideen brothers” in Yemen. Although he had been away from his family for close to eight years, Mousa hastened to the jihad “because he carried the concern of the ummah [Muslim nation] in his heart, and especially the case of the prisoners.”
Mousa al Shihri’s eulogy concludes by noting that he was one of the six fighters who took part in the raid “on the dens of evil and corruption who took revenge for the female captives, and Allah granted him martyrdom on the land that he desired.”
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