The Islamic State’s Profile of Umar Hadid

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on January 30, 2017


A profile of Umar Hadid, published on an Islamic State forum, is reproduced below with some interesting and important sections highlighted in bold. Hadid—variously known as Abu Khattab al-Falluji, Abu Khattab al-Ansari, and Abu Khattab al-Iraqi—was a native of Fallujah who took up Salafism in the late 1990s during the rule of Saddam Husayn, leading to clashes with the security forces and Hadid going into internal exile. After the fall of Saddam, Hadid quickly linked up with the elite circles of the nascent Islamic State movement, including its leader Ahmad al-Khalayleh (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), his deputy Umar Yusef al-Juma (Abu Anas al-Shami), the military leader Mustafa Ramadan Darwish (Abu Muhammad al-Lubnani) and Abu Raghd who set up the Rawa Camp in Anbar Province, said to be the first terrorist training facility of the Iraqi jihad, and Abdallah Najem al-Jawari (Abu Azzam al-Iraqi), the chief financier and Anbar governor in 2004 before being appointed emir of Baghdad in 2005. Hadid was the leader of the insurgency in the two battles at Fallujah in 2004, being killed during the second of them.

In the Name of God, Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Umar Hadid was a most distinguished martyr from the city of Fallujah.

He was the city’s righteous son, and valiant commander. Umar was a glorious man, who obeyed God. His soul arrived for the majesties of paradise, and he would not settle for anything but paradise. Umar was also a pleasant man. Even mentioning Umar’s name was like a sword against his enemies. As for the brothers, however they associated his name with pure waters of paradise. This was Umar Hadid, or Umar Husayn Hadid al-Muhammadi, the heroic son from Fallujah who donned the robe of honour and prestige. Umar was a mountain of a man who made the small city of Fallujah a place people admire and a symbol of honour and grace. Umar never pursued fame. It was not fame that he strived for or cried about—yet, glory in this world and in Paradise (or so we like to think) was exactly what he received. How could it be otherwise when we knew him to be a righteous follower and gracious student of faith? How could it be otherwise when he was a successful missionary who spread the word of truth and remained a firm believer in God’s oneness during the darkest days—the time of the doomed tyrant, the leader of the Ba’ath party, Saddam Husayn?

Beloved Umar later met the brother and preacher Muhammad al-Shishani. The two men established first righteous following at al-Fayad mosque in a city that was back then the capital of heresy and a cradle of ignorance—the city of Fallujah. Their group destroyed promiscuous video stores, women’s hair salons (that were secretly used for other purposes as well), and vendors that offered wine.[1] They even made their way into nearby villages, but God refused for this to go any further. One of the group’s members was arrested and he provided information regarding the whereabouts of the Shaykh and his companion. One of their homes was stormed, however the heroic martyr and his friend managed to escape after killing one of the tyrant’s men and wounding two others. This is where the journey of homelessness began, as Umar moved from city to city in Iraq, while seeking shelter and praying to God.

One day, one of Umar’s relatives who was an official in the [Saddam’s] intelligence services at that time told him, “Come with me for one hour and I guarantee that you will come back, never to be wanted again. All you need to do is to say that you are sorry, and just for the record. If you do that, then the charges against you will be dropped and you will be safe.” Umar looked at him and replied, “You will need to save yourself from God’s retribution when he asks you about your treasonous work for this tyrant. As for me I am pleased and safe thanks to the power of God.”

After the Ba’ath regime collapsed, the commander look for something that would satisfy the aspirations of his religious ideology. Umar went to Rawa, where together with his brother martyr Abu Muhammad al-Lubnani [real name: Mustafa Ramadan Darwish] (and others as well), he established the first military camp to serve the Arab muhajirun brothers [foreign fighters]. Umar then came to Fallujah, where he led his first battle against Americans armoured vehicles. Three brothers became martyrs during this battle, but Umar and another of his brothers miraculously survived. The man knew what was expected of him, and so he began to stock up on weapons of all kinds. Umar also preached his family, and called upon them to embrace God. He managed to touch their hearts and they all listened to him, elderly and young alike. Before Umar became a martyr, he had to attend to the funerals of his older brother Abdelsatir, his loyal cousin Jassim who studies shari’a, and others as well. May God reward them with a new family, and honour them in paradise—Just as they honoured Islam in this world.

Afterwards, the first series of incidents began to take place in Fallujah. These incidents constituted a new turning point in his life as a jihadi, not to mention the lives of other brothers. Moreover, they were aware of the historical implications for Fallujah. Thus, you can’t mention Fallujah without Umar and you can’t mention Umar without mentioning Fallujah. Fallujah and Umar are simply two faces for the same honour. We see this close relationship between Umar and Fallujah beginning with the Muduriyat al-Amin and the al-Qaimaqamiya events, and lasting all the way until the hero’s death.

I will start off with the first series of events that took place in Fallujah. I would like to ask God to raise his status in Paradise even further. When the Americans launched their first assault on Fallujah, the majority of the city’s residents chose to hide inside their homes. Fear seeped into them—as they feared for their family, their children and their property. Umar, however, did not fear anyone but God. Instead, he went to his house and recruited his cousins and everyone else who was with him. He then grabbed his machine-gun, his brother Abdelsatir, and his cousins—the most prominent of which was Jassim—who followed him.

People quickly came up to them and begged, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? Cover your faces, the Americans and the spies are here!” Nevertheless, Umar was shouting at the top of his lungs, “Get out [of your homes] everyone! Stand up for your dignity! They will never leave! Have faith in God for one hour!” Yet, the best that those who answered his call had to offer him was a scarf to cover his face, and a pitcher of water to quench his thirst.

I swear to God that I could literally see the profound passion he had for Islam fill his eyes, and the concerns he had for Muslim dignity fill his heart. His valiance when it came to fulfilling the orders of God was evident all over his face. Umar Hadid loved the religion from the bottom of his heart and likewise his passion for his people. This is why he was willing to sacrifice himself as well as his people without hesitation. Many of the houses in Fallujah were shelled and demolished. The homes were empties as the residents abandoned their homes and fled. Somehow, Umar’s house that served as a shelter where loyal mujahideen could find food and medical attention was left unscathed—and this despite the fact that they shelled it more than one time. Moreover, all the adjacent homes were destroyed. Praise be to God for his blessing.

The battle then began. Umar [Hadid], Shaykh Abu Anas al-Shami [real name: Umar Yusef al-Juma], Abu Azzam [al-Iraqi, real name: Abdallah Najem al-Jawari], and others as well formed a central command structure for the purpose of the battle. Umar’s job was to serve as the commander presiding over the toughest zone—the Jolan neighbourhood. The enemy had tried to make his entry into Fallujah through the Jolan areas several times. There were many reasons for this, the most important of which were:

1.) The short distance between the bases of the enemy and al-Jolan.

2.) The Jolan front sprawls across a large distance, making it difficult for the mujahideen to defend all of it.

I was there. On that front, and in the name of God, I can vouch that Umar’s voice resonated like the sound of a thousand knights, and the mere sight of him would raise the morale and give people hope. I remember that once when a group of brothers took off to attack one of the American’s posts—and Umar later learned that they had been surrounded—he quickly came armed with his machine-gun and urged his brothers to act. He told them, “We must save our brothers. Come on now!” He led the attack front the one direction and coordinated the offensive from the other directions. Praise be to God, the brother left the scene victorious, despite the fact that they had been surrounded. Everywhere that Umar stayed at was constantly subject to relentless bombardment. The shells left nothing behind them. The last place that was targeted was a house that was serving as an ammunition depot. This was just a few days before the battle ended. The ammunition inside the house was the last of our supply. Umar was deeply saddened and complained to Shaykh Abu Anas al-Shami who told him, “God will take care of this, Umar.” Victory and triumph came shortly thereafter, as a result of the brother doing their utmost and [thanks] to God as well.

After the first series of events in Fallujah came to an end. Umar opened the most important chapter in his life that laid the foundation for an era of goodness and blessings. Together with a number of his brothers, he formed the Mujahideen Shura Council, hoping it would be the start of Islamic rule in the city of Fallujah. Umar fired the shaykhs of the damnable Tasawwuf [Sufi] School, who fled from the city when the American offensive began. Instead, he appointed a group of brothers who believe in tawhid [the oneness of God]. This made Umar a target of the arrows of these cowards. They blamed him for everything and denied him all his grace. Nonetheless, the honourable Fallujans knew [Umar] to be a great advisor and a fair arbitrator. Whenever asked to give his ruling on a case, he would demand that justice be served, regardless of how powerful or capable the oppressor was. One of the great deeds attributed to Umar was that soon as he smelled the foul scent of treachery and betrayal coming from the Pagan [Iraqi National] Guard’s Fallujah Brigade attacked their headquarters and captured their leaders. He later had the captives executed and took over their headquarters, thus seizing the weapons, supplies, and uniforms that were there—and purifying the city from the blasphemy. The American invaders were so sad that they placed a giant billboard bearing the picture of the commander of the Pagan Guard’s Fallujah Brigade outside one of their bases. Umar, for his part, continued to prepare for a possible American attack, and this included purchasing weapons and covering and possible loopholes. He was once again assigned to preside over the al-Jolan front.

The second series of events in Fallujah began—and has already been mentioned—Umar was positioned in al-Jolan. I was in the Nazzal neighbourhood along with Shaykh Abu Azzam [al-Iraqi], Abdel Hadi, Abu Rabie, and other loyal brothers. We later received terrible news from al-Jolan. It was reported that Umar Hadid had been killed, and so we all filled with sorrow and sadness. One sunny day, Umar suddenly showed up. He was wounded in his back and in his right shoulder, and he carried an automatic rifle. This time it was an American M-16, and we all chanted “Allahu Akbar” and bowed to our lord to thank him. Umar then went to tell us the story behind his injury, and how he and his brother managed to break through the military blockade that had surrounded them. Umar came to the Nazzal neighbourhood, and it was in this neighbourhood that he resumed him leadership role—despite his injuries and the difficulty he had moving. When a certain area was having a hard time, we sent him over there for an important reason—whenever brothers saw home, they would become excited and encouraged, whole audacity would become their motto. The Americans when launched an offensive against the Nazzal neighbourhood, and the brothers fought back heroically. The brothers split up into several groups. I was part of one group and Umar was part of another. He then came accompanied by Muhammad Jassim al-Issawi (Abu al-Harith)[1] and others. He had a big smile on his face and said: “With the help from God, we are going to be victorious. We are going to defeat with God’s help. Indeed, we strive for whatever God has to offer.” I knew that was referring to Paradise. Afterwards, the fighting began to subside throughout the Nazzal neighbourhood and we started moving from home to home. During those days, the brother constantly moved from one place to another. Nonetheless, myself, and three brothers were unable to move for many reasons. Umar took one look at the house that we were in and practically went crazy when he noticed that there were snipers on the roof. He was deeply concerned for us, and so he grabbed his M-16, aimed, and opened fire on the snipers. Umar managed to strike both of the snipers, and as a result the cowards fled from the rooftop and—praise be to God—this made it much easier for us to escape from the house.

Then came “the woman’s whimper” as the residents of the Nazzal neighbourhood like to call it. All the residents of Fallujah were ordered to leave the city. Everyone knew that death was inevitable and soon to come because the cowards were likely to resort to dirty methods. Indeed, poisonous gases—among them burning agents were used. Later, it was revealed that white phosphorous had indeed been used, and this was surely just the tip of the iceberg. Umar moved from one place to another. He finally settled in a house along with more than ten other brothers. One day, he suddenly noticed that the Americans were trying to break into the house. He went up to the roof and engaged in battle. A bullet fired by one of the snipers who was hiding in a nearby house struck him in the head. The knight demounted his steed.

We all believe that Umar is with God and that he got his fair share of this world and was already tired of it. One of the most amazing things is the fact that the Americans used every method they possibly could in this war, as they always do. One of the methods they used was psychological warfare. The beautiful part of the story is that the Americans would announce through their loudspeakers, “Get out and surrender. You are surrounded. We will destroy you. Your commanders have fled—they have abandoned you. The cowardly Umar Hadid took off and abandoned you! He chose to live and left you all to die!” Umar probably launched when he heard this just as his brothers laughed. It only makes them firmer in their faith and more confident in regards to what God has to offer.

I recall that the Americans once said, “We came here with destructive weapons. The ground will soon burn, and fire will come pouring down from the sky. We possess tremendous power that cannot be matched by anyone”. In the name of God, I laughed wholeheartedly when I heard this. I told my brothers, “Be happy, because I swear to God that in the wake of these words, salvation will be soon to come.” Praise be to God, indeed soon it came. Finally, I would like to ask God to allow us to join Umar and his brothers in Paradise, and to reward me with Umar’s love as well as love of his fellow martyrs. God is the one we call for help. God is the one we trust.


[1] It seems that Hadid’s group also blew up the only cinema in Fallujah, and it never re-opened. The identity of Hadid’s partner in shari’a vigilantism, Muhammad al-Shishani, is unclear, but one report identifies a man fitting al-Shishani’s description as Muhammad al-Issawi and says he had fought the Russians in Chechnya, which might explain the given name (al-Shishani means “the Chechen”.)

2 thoughts on “The Islamic State’s Profile of Umar Hadid

  1. Pingback: The Leader of the Islamic State in the 2004 Fallujah Battles: Umar Hadid | The Syrian Intifada

  2. Pingback: Islamic State Profiles the Leadership | Kyle Orton's Blog

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