USTAD ABDUL RAB RASUL SAYYAF (/ɑːbˈduːl rəˈsuːl saɪˈjɑːf/
( listen ) ahb-DOOL rə-SOOL sy-YAHF ; Pashto : عبد رب
الرسول سياف , born 1946,
Afghanistan ) is
an Afghan former mujahideen and current politician. He took part in
the war against the PDPA government in the 1980s, leading the Afghan
mujahideen faction Islamic Union for the Liberation of
During the war, he received patronage from Arab sources and mobilized
Arab volunteers for the mujahideen forces. Sayyaf is said to have been
the one who first invited
Osama bin Laden to take refuge in
Jalalabad ), after bin Laden's 1996 expulsion from Sudan
by the otherwise sympathetic Sudanese régime under Saudi, Egyptian,
and American pressure.
In 2005, Sayyaf's
Ittehad-al-Islami (or Islamic Union) was converted
into the political party, the Islamic Dawah Organisation of
Afghanistan . He has been considered a member of the Northern Alliance
, despite his close relationship with militant groups such as
Al-Qaeda that opposed it. He has also been accused of having knowingly
assisted the two assassins that killed
Northern Alliance leader Ahmad
Shah Massoud in a suicide bomb blast two days before 11 September
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Soviet time and Bin Laden friendship
* 1.2 War in
* 1.3 War in
* 1.4 Constitutional
Loya Jirga (2003)
* 1.5 Present Activities
* 2 References
Sayyaf is an ethnic Pashtun . Sayyaf (سياف) is an Arabic word
that means "the person who is skilled with the sword." He is fluent in
Arabic and holds a degree in religion from
Kabul University and a
masters from the illustrious
Al-Azhar University in
Cairo , Egypt. He
has been described as "a big, beefy man with fair skin and a thick
gray beard." Sayyaf is reported to be approximately 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
in height and weigh 250 lb (110 kg). "He usually wears a white
skullcap or a large turban, and a traditional Afghan shalwar kameez ,
a tunic with loose pants."
Sayyaf was a member of the Afghan-based Ikhwan al-Muslimin , founded
in 1969 by
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Dr.
Burhanuddin Rabbani and having
strong links to the original and much larger
Muslim Brotherhood in
Egypt. Ustad (Professor) Abdul was a professor at the Shariat (Islamic
law) faculty of
Kabul University until 1973, when he plotted with
Burhanuddin Rabbani and
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to overthrow President
Daoud Khan . The coup failed and he was forced to flee to Pakistan
but was arrested when he returned.
SOVIET TIME AND BIN LADEN FRIENDSHIP
Sayyaf (left) as
Afghan mujahideen commander in 1984.
Being imprisoned by the Communist People\'s Democratic Party of
Afghanistan (PDPA) in April 1978, he was freed in controversial
circumstances by the second PDPA leader
Hafizullah Amin , who,
coincidentally, happened to be Sayyaf's distant relative. Although, by
virtue of him being incarcerated, and, consequently not arriving in
Peshawar until 1980, until after the actual Soviet intervention, he
was recognized by the Pakistanis as the leader of the Islamic Union
for the Liberation of
Afghanistan (Ittihad-i-Islami Baraye Azadi
Afghanistan), a coalition of several parties fighting the Soviet and
Afghan government forces. The Islamic Union soon imploded, and Sayyaf
retained the name as the title of his own organization.
Sayyaf fought against Soviet occupying forces in
the 1980s, and was generously financed, and apparently favoured, by
Saudi Arabia , seemingly due to his close religious affinities with
the Wahhabist Saudi Royal and religious establishment and above
mentioned excellent command of the
Arabic language . During the jihad
against the Soviet Union and its Afghan allies, he formed a close
Osama bin Laden . Together in the
they established a training camp network, later used by Al-Qaeda
personnel, with bunkers and emplacements. In 1981, Sayyaf formed and
headed the Ittihad-i-Islami Baraye Azadi Afghanistan, or Islamic Union
for the Liberation of
Afghanistan . In 1985, he founded a university
in an Afghan refugee camp near
Peshawar called Dawa\'a al-Jihad ,
(Call of Jihad), which has been described the "preeminent school for
Ramzi Ahmed Yousef , who masterminded the first World
Trade Center bombing in 1993, attended it.
Despite his growing wealth, he continued to live a spartan life,
avoiding modern conveniences like mattresses and air conditioning;
although he enjoyed a nightly game of tennis.
During the post-war period, Sayyaf retained his training camps, using
them for militarily training and indoctrinating new recruits to fight
in Islamic-backed conflicts such as
Chechnya , Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and in the Southern
Philippines , where his name inspired the Abu
Sayyaf group. Also, in these camps, Sayyaf trained and mentored the
soon-to-be-infamous, Kuwaiti-born, future
Al-Qaeda operative and
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed , after being introduced by
the latter's brother, Zahid, during the Afghan Jihad in 1987.
WAR IN AFGHANISTAN (1989–1996)
After the forced withdrawal of the demoralised Soviet forces in 1989,
and the overthrow of the
Mohammad Najibullah regime in 1992, Sayyaf's
organization's human rights record became noticeably worse, underlined
by their involvement in the infamous massacres and rampages in the
Hazara Kabul neighbourhood of Afshar . In 1993, during the Afghan
civil war, Sayyaf's faction was responsible for, "repeated human
butchery", when his faction of
Mujahideen turned on civilians and the
Hezb-i Wahdat group.
Amnesty International reported that
Sayyaf's forces rampaged through the mainly Shi'ite Tajik (
Afshar neighbourhood of Kābul, slaughtering and raping inhabitants
and burning homes.
WAR IN AFGHANISTAN (1996–2001)
Sayyaf claimed and claims he is a vituperative opponent of the
Taliban movement, which is the reason he officially joined
Northern Alliance , despite his aforementioned religious and
ideological affinities with the
Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Sayyaf is said
to have helped the Arab suicide assassins who killed the Northern
Ahmad Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud . He is rumored to have helped
during their preparations, raising suspicion he was involved in
killing Massoud. Massoud was killed when the Arab suicide attackers
posing as journalists detonated a bomb hidden in their video camera.
CONSTITUTIONAL LOYA JIRGA (2003)
In 2003, Sayyaf was elected as one of the 502 representatives at the
Loya Jirga in Kabul, chairing one of the working
groups. Originally wanted
Loya Jirga intended to divide the 502
delegates randomly among 10 working groups, but Sayyaf objected,
suggesting delegates be divided among the groups to ensure equal
distribution of professional expertise, provincial origin, gender and
other criteria. "Those who know the constitution, the ulema , and the
lawyers should be split into different groups so that the results of
the discussion and debate will be positive, and closer to each other,"
Abdul Sayyaf's influence in the convention was felt further when his
ally Fazal Hadi Shinwari was appointed by
Hamid Karzai as Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, in violation of the constitution, as
Fazal was over the age limit and trained only in religious, not
secular, law. Shinwari packed the Supreme Court with sympathetic
mullahs, called for Taliban-style punishments and renewed Taliban's
dreaded Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,
renamed the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs.
As of 2007, Sayyaf is an influential member of parliament and has
called for an amnesty for former mujahideen ,.
Sayyaf was an announced candidate for the President of
the 2014 election , in which he received 7.04% of the vote in the
first round, as the candidate for the aforementioned Islamic Dawah
Afghanistan , and winning
Kandahar Province .
* ^ A B C D E John Lee Anderson. The Lion's Grave (26 November 2002
ed.). Atlantic Books. p. 224. ISBN 1-84354-118-1 .
* ^ A B Shah, Amir (23 February 2007). "Former Mujahedeen Stage
Rally in Kabul". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 28
* ^ A B "Ustad Abdul Rasul Sayyaf". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved
28 February 2016.
* ^ Layden-Stevenson, Justice. "Hassan Almrei and the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration and Solicitor General for Canada",
"Reasons for Order and Order", 5 December 2005
* ^ "Afghan ex-warlord escapes attack". BBC News. 20 November 2009.
* ^ Warren, Marcus (3 December 2001). "Former bin Laden mentor
warns the West". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
* ^ Shephard, Michelle (2008). Guantanamo's Child. John Wiley &
* ^ "Ittihad". Blood-Stained Hands: Past Atrocities in Kabul and
Afghanistan’s Legacy of Impunity.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch . 2005.
Retrieved 28 February 2016.
* ^ Phil Rees (2 December 2001). "A personal account".
BBC News .
Retrieved 21 Ap