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Abdullah al-Asiri

Born: 1986;

Place of Birth: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;

Gender: Male;

Nationality: Saudi Arabia;

Address: Unknown;

Known also as: Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri, Abdullah Hassan Tali’ al-Asiri, Abdullah al-Asiri, Abul Khair;

Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri was a Saudi Arabian member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. His name is an ascription to the ‘Asir Province of Saudi Arabia. He died in August 2009 while attempting to assassinate Saudi Arabia‘s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef, in a suicide bombing.


According to the Saudi Gazette al-Asiri was reportedly recruited into al-Qaeda by his older brother Ibrahim al-Asiri and the two brothers reportedly traveled to Yemen in 2007.

He rose to notability when he was named on a Saudi list of most wanted terrorist suspects on February 3, 2009, and then on August 27, 2009, for attempting to assassinate Saudi deputy minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef, whom he only slightly injured in a suicide bombing.

Al-Asiri spoke to Mohammed bin Nayef a few days prior to the bombing and expressed his desire to turn himself in as part of the country’s terrorist rehabilitation program, and they agreed to meet.

On August 27, 2009, Asiri waited in line at Mohammed bin Nayef’s Jeddah palace as a “well-wisher,” a tradition in the kingdom during Ramadan. He exploded a suicide bomb (perhaps with a cell phone), killing himself, but only lightly injuring bin Nayef (who was protected from the full force of the blast by Asiri’s body).

Assisted by his older brother, Ibrahim al-Asiri, he had hidden a pound (0.5 kg) of PETN plastic explosives in his rectum and anal canal, which security experts described as a novel technique. Asiri had passed through a metal detector and remained in the security of the Prince’s bodyguards for over 24 hours before gaining the audience. “I did not want him to be searched, but he surprised me by blowing himself up,” said Mohammed bin Nayef.

According to Al Arabiya, this was the first assassination attempt against a royal family member since 2003, when Saudi Arabia faced a sharp uptick in al-Qaeda linked attacks. The Saudi Gazette reported on October 22, 2009, that a Yemeni named Rayed Abdullah Salem Al Harbi assisted Asiri in preparing for his suicide mission.

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