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Mohamed Mahmoud

Born: 18 June 1985;

Place of Birth: Vienna, Austria;

Gender: Male;

Nationality: Austrian;

Address: Syria;

Known also as: Abu Usama al-Gharib.

Mohamed Mahmoud is Islamic militant and a senior leader in the Islamic State. His father Sami Mahmoud was a member of the designated Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.


In October 2002, aged 17, he traveled to Iraq via Italy. He was trained in a camp by Ansar al-Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In 2005 he founded the “Organization of the Islamic Youth” in Austria. Then, by late 2006, (in Austria) he became a leader in the “Global Islamic Media Front”, working alongside his (current) spouse Ahlam al-Nasr (married since 2014) to translate videos and texts from Arabic into German.

In 2007, authorities became suspicious when he started to buy ingredients for a possible suicide belt and the Media Front published a video threatening to carry out attacks in Germany and Austria if they did not withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, for which he got arrested.

Then in April 2008, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb called for his release from jail in Austria, in exchange for freeing two Austrian captives.

He was released from prison on September 15, 2011 after serving a four-year prison sentence for being a member and supporter of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

He moved to Berlin upon release, and between 2011–12, he moved to Solingen alongside Denis Cuspert. There he founded the Salafi organisation Millatu Ibrahim.

He is believed to be close to Turki al-Binali. The two met in Libya at some point, where Mahmoud received an ijazah (license for [Sunni or Twelver Shia] transmission of Islamic religious knowledge) from him.

On 5 November 2014, al-Gharib posed alongside corpses in the Syrian city of Raqqa and in August 2015, he appeared in an Islamic State video alongside Abu Omar al-Almani. Filmed in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the pair executed two Syrian Arab Army soldiers.

Usama al-Gharib died on 28 November 2018, in Syria after US Air Strike.

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