Muhammed Atef

Former al-Qaeda military leader
Born: 1944
Birthplace: Menoufya, Egypt

Born Sobhi Abu Sitta, he took the name Muhammad Atef and other aliases after joining Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, al-Qaeda. Atef served for two years in the Egyptian army before leaving the country in the mid-1980s to join the jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Another Egyptian radical, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, introduced Atef to Osama bin Laden. Atef eventually became bin Laden's right hand man, personally searching journalists who wanted to interview bin Laden. His daughter married one of bin Laden's sons. In 1988 he became military leader of al-Qaeda and is suspected of planning the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in East Africa and of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. In 1999 Atef was sentenced in absentia by an Egyptian court to seven years in jail for membership in the Egyptian Jihad group responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He was killed in a U.S. air raid on a facility outside Kabul in November 2001. The U.S. had placed a $5 million reward on Atef.

Died: 2001

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