Islamic State Mourns a Saudi Jihadist in Yemen

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 26 May 2018

Ahmad bin Sa’id al-Amudi (Abu Karam al-Hadrami) // Picture from page 9 of Al-Naba 133 (25 May 2018)

The 133rd edition of the Islamic State’s (IS) weekly newsletter, Al-Naba, was released on 25 May 2018. In Al-Naba, on page nine, there was a profile of Ahmad bin Sa’id al-Amudi (Abu Karam al-Hadrami), a Saudi jihadist who fought for IS and was killed in Yemen. Al-Naba has run obituaries for prominent IS operatives like Mohammed Emwazi (Abu Muharib al-Muhajir), often known as “Jihadi John”, very senior IS officials whose biographies were shrouded in mystery like Abdurrahman al-Qaduli (Abu Ali al-Anbari) and Ali Aswad al-Jiburi (Abu Ayman al-Iraqi), as well as completely unknown figures like Abu Sulayman al-Libi. Al-Amudi is in this final category.

Al-Amudi was born in Riyadh “in a well-off house”, according to Al-Naba. “He grew up in an environment plagued by sedition, lusts, and whims [or passions] that influenced the hearts of many young people”, Al-Naba adds, a devious scheme by illegitimate ruling House in Arabia to “distract shabab al-ummat [the youth of the Islamic nation]” from their true path and glory.

Taken with money and other corruptions, al-Amudi soon landed in jail, where he remained for four years. This was “a defining moment in his life”, Al Naba notes. In prison, al-Amudi found religion—as so often happens throughout the region. (In their book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan discuss at length the role of prisons in Islamist radicalisation. One intelligence official tells them of IS’s founder, Ahmad al-Khalayleh, the infamous Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, “Prison was his university”.)

Having repented and shed his old life, al-Amudi emerged from prison with a sense of mission, Al-Naba continues. Starting in “Bilad al-Haramayn” (The Land of the Two Holy Mosques), al-Amudi searched for “a foothold of sidq [sincerity or truthfulness]” and could see none better than the Islamic State, adopting their ideology and practice. It was not easy to get in contact with Islamic State operatives in  Saudi Arabia, however. Eventually, al-Amudi found his way to “an official in the Islamic State in Yemen”.

Once he joined the Islamic State “brothers” in Yemen, Al-Naba documents, al-Amudi provided shelter for jihadists in the Hadramut area, the ancestral homeland of Usama bin Ladin. Al-Amudi was subsequently responsible for receiving IS volunteers, looking after them, and facilitating their movements. Later, al-Amudi, characterised as having a “large heart” and being patient, was “assigned by the brothers to oversee the movement [of IS operatives] between the wilayat [provinces] because of his mastery of this work”, Al-Naba reports.

Transferred to Wilayat al-Bayda, near the town of Qayfa (or Qifa), al-Amudi moved from logistics to the battlefront, Al-Naba reports. Affirmed as being gentle and caring to the “brothers”, and “shadid” (severe) toward “the enemies of God”—a standard formulation in these obituaries—al-Amudi envisioned his ideal death in a “martyrdom operation” ahead of his allotted time, blowing himself up in a car bombing that killed a number of disbelievers, some of whom were “torn apart”. In the course of events, al-Amudi was actually killed by Huthi shellfire while at the front, just after bringing water to his fellow jihadists and apparently while reading Kitab Allah (The Book of God, i.e. the Qur’an).

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UPDATE: IS reported Ahmad al-Amudi’s death on 13 April 2018:

Abu Karam al-Hadrami “martyrdom” picture from the Islamic State in Yemen


Post has been corrected concerning the manner of al-Amudi’s death

2 thoughts on “Islamic State Mourns a Saudi Jihadist in Yemen

  1. Elisabeth Kendall

    By the way, meant to say that I found your piece because I was searching for anyone who had already written about Abu Karam and you were the only person who had picked it up as significant – so well done for being ahead of the game on that (as usual).


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