Yusuf al-Ayeri (Arabic: يوسف العييري) or Yusuf bin Salih bin Fahd al-Ayeri (1973 – 2003; known by a number of aliases, including al-Battar—the Arabic name of one of the swords of Muhammad—conventionally rendered "Swift Sword" in English) was a Saudi Arabian member of Al-Qaeda, and the first-ever leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
Yusuf bin Salih bin Fahd al-Ayeri
|Organization||Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula|
|Successor||Khaled Ali Hajj|
Born in Dammam, Saudi Arabia to an upper-middle-class family, Ayeri was known for taking part in illegal street racing, before dropping out of secondary school at age 18 and travelling to Afghanistan, where he received paramilitary training in the Al Farouq training camp, eventually becoming a trainer at the camp. Ayeri briefly served as a bodyguard of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, with whom he traveled to Sudan.
The leader of the Somali militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab, Moktar Ali Zubeyr, has said that Saif al-Adel and Yusef al-Ayeri played an important role in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu by providing training and participating in the battle directly.
After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, Ayeri was arrested by Saudi authorities and tortured. After two years he was released and was tasked by Bin Laden with organizing Al Qaeda's branch within Saudi Arabia.
According to Ron Suskind's One-percent Doctrine, he was the mastermind of a planned cyanide gas attack on both the New York City Subway and the PATH (both of which were canceled shortly before they were to happen).
First, it was discovered that this al-Ayeri was behind a Web site, al-Nida, that U.S. investigators had long felt carried some of the most specialized analysis and coded directives about al Qaeda's motives and plans. He was also the anonymous author of two extraordinary pieces of writing -- short books, really, that had recently moved through cyberspace, about al Qaeda's underlying strategies. The Future of Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula After the Fall of Baghdad, written as the United States prepared its attack, said that an American invasion of Iraq would be the best possible outcome for al Qaeda, stoking extremism throughout the Persian Gulf and South Asia, and achieving precisely the radicalizing quagmire that bin Laden had hoped would occur in Afghanistan. A second book, Crusaders' War, outlined a tactical model for fighting the American forces in Iraq, including "assassination and poisoning the enemy's food and drink," remotely triggered explosives, suicide bombings, and lightning strike ambushes. It was the playbook.
- Jarret Brachman: Global jihadism Theory and practice. New York 2009, S. 64f. googlebooks ISBN 9780415452410
- "Riyadh rage: inside Saudi Arabia's joyriding craze". The Guardian. 2014-06-22. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
- Re-Reading al-Qaeda Writings of Yusuf al-Ayiri von Roel Meijer, ISIM Review 18, Herbst 2006
- "Shabaab leader recounts al Qaeda's role in Somalia in the 1990s". Long War Journal. 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
- Ron Suskind, The One Percent Doctrine, 2007, pg 235
- Globalsecurity.org, Karim Mejjati
- Tom Hull, July 2006 Notebook
- Time, Exclusive Book Excerpt: How an Al-Qaeda Cell Planned a Poison-Gas Attack on the N.Y. Subway
- CNS, Special Report: Manual for Producing Chemical Weapon to Be Used in New York Subway Plot Available on Al-Qaeda Websites Since Late 2005[permanent dead link]
- Washington Post, Odyssey of an Al Qaeda Operative