The top 5 militant leaders still hiding in Pakistan

2. Saif al-Adel

Saif al-Adel, which means “Sword of justice” and appears to be a nom de guerre, is another on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists. There is very little concrete info actually known about him other than that is an Egyptian believed to be a top-ranking member of Al Qaeda.

Most of what is thought to be known about him comes from the writings and memoirs of jihadis, including his own. He's claimed that in 1987 he was a colonel in the Egyptian Special Forces and that he was arrested that year. He fled his homeland in 1988, he's said, and soon linked up with jihadis on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The US is offering $5 million as a reward for his capture.

Like Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mr. Adel was indicted by the US for an alleged role in the African embassy bombings in 1998. It was reported that he took over as the military commander of Al Qaeda after bin Laden’s death before it became clear that Zawahiri was the new chief.

It was thought that Adel may have been under house arrest in Iran after fleeing there following the US invasion of Afghanistan, but intelligence reports indicate that if he was, he has since been released and was possibly in Pakistan’s tribal region.

On Feb. 29, 2012 Egyptian authorities arrested a man believed to be Adel named Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, the name the US has listed as one of Adel’s aliases, at Cairo’s International airport Cairo International Airport, but it turned out that he was not the Saif al-Adel. 

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