Aso Muhammad Hassan
|Name||Aso Muhammad Hassan (1962-)|
|Also Known As||Aso Hawleri ("Aso of Hawler" - Hawler is Kurdish for Irbil)|
Asad Muhammad Hasan
Asad Muhamad Amin Harki
|Biography||Born in 1962, Aso Muhammad Hassan is one of many Islamic radicals to emerge from the city of Hawler (Irbil) in the KDP-controlled territory of Iraqi Kurdistan, hence his nom de guerre, Aso Hawleri (Aso of Irbil).|
|Aso Hawleri joined the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK) in 1991 and rose to its Central Committee in 1997. He was the leader of the largest armed faction in the IMK, the Second Soran Unit. According to Michael Rubin, Aso Hawleri had 350-400 men under arms, with 50-60 Arabs fighting alongside the force. Rubin also reported that the group was armed with Daushka surface to surface rockets, 106mm artillery and other heavy weapons.|
|The Second Soran Unit formed a political front group, the Central Islamic Faction, led by Aso Hawleri, several Arabs, and a Turkoman named Abu Khubayi Barachak. This faction frequently clashed with the IMK leadership, and when IMK split, Second Soran Unit initially became independent.|
Aso Hawleri. Source: Hawlati, via Kurdo.
|In accordance with al-Qaeda's objective of consolidating disparate Islamic militant groups under one banner, on 1st September 2001, the Second Soran Unit merged with Abdullah al-Shafi'i's Tawhid Islamic Front (Tawhid meaning Islamic monotheism) to form Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam). Three al-Qaeda-linked Afghan Arabs were present at the meeting; Abu Abdul Rahman (Usama bin Laden's representative for supervision of unity and media in Afghanistan), Abu Wa'il (an expert and instructor in sabotage) and Abu Darda'a (instructor in terrorism and assassination). A $300,000 grant from al-Qaeda cemented the merger. The new organisation was led by Abdullah al-Shafi'i with Aso Hawleri as his deputy.1||1 Michael Rubin, The Islamist Threat in Iraqi Kurdistan
Al-Sharq al-Awsat, report on founding of Jund al-Islam
|Jund al-Islam was based in Biyara near the Iranian border. Soon after its formation it seized Tawella and villages of Mila Chinara, Khak Kelan, Kharpan, Zardalhala, Hanadi, Dargashikhan, Balkha, Mishla, Palyanaw. It issued a proclamation reminiscent of the Taliban's declarations of the imposition of Shariah law, and proceeded to destroy Sufi shrines and assassinate high ranking officials and Islamic scholars with whom it disagreed. It also killed and mutilated dozens of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) troops.|
|A scanned image of Aso Hawleri's IMK identity card was found by journalist Alan Cullison on a computer abandoned by al-Qaeda as it fled Kabul in late 2001.2 The card lists Aso Hawleri as a member of the Military Office of the IMK, an important position in the organisation. The presence of this image on the al-Qaeda's computer also suggests that Aso Hawleri received al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan. A number of Ansar al-Islam members are known to have trained at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan through the 1990s.||2 Alan Cullison, Inside Al-Qaeda's Hard Drive, Atlantic Monthly, September 2004. The image appears in the print edition but not the web edition.|
|Soon after it was founded, Jund al-Islam merged with the movement of former IMK member Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad (Mullah Krekar), changing its name to Ansar al-Islam (Helpers/Supporters of Islam). This very Salafist name refers to the people of Yathrib (Medina) who helped Muhammad fight the Meccan pagans. The Ansar al-Islam organisation has been involved in numerous terrorist attacks, not only in Iraq but also across the Middle East and Europe. In addition to the previously outlined allegations of links with Usama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation, Ansar al-Islam appears to have harboured Jordanian terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who later became al-Qaeda's representative in Iraq. (See Evolution of al-Qaeda: Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.) For more detailed information on Ansar al-Islam, please refer to our profile of Mullah Krekar.|
|Aso Hawleri was captured by members of the US Army 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, northern Iraq, on Friday the 10th of October 2003.3 He remains in US custody.||3 Nick Childs, US Captures 'top Iraqi militant', 14 October 2003.|
Thanks to Kurdo's blog and Bjørn Stærk's blog for assistance in researching this article.
Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat report - A report on the founding of Jund al-Islam|
Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch: More on connections between Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda 20 August 2002.
The Atlantic Monthly: Inside Al-Qaeda's Hard Drive, Alan Cullison, September 2004.
MEIB: The Islamist Threat in Iraqi Kurdistan by Michael Rubin, December 2001. Comprehensive report on Islamic movements in Kurdistan up to 2001.
BBC News: US Captures 'top Iraqi militant', Nick Childs, 14 October 2003.
Dagbladet: Klappjakt på Krekar's menn (Norwegian), 12 January 2004.
ABC Australia: Western Intelligence Investigates al-Qaeda-linked Organisation - transcript of a feature on Australian current affairs programme The 7:30 Report.
|Citing this page||This is a dynamic biography reference. Details may be added, deleted or changed without notice. If you intend to cite this page, PWHCE advises making a copy and recording the date of download for your own reference.|
Trevor Stanley, Aso Muhammad Hassan aka Aso Hawleri: Kurdish Islamic Terrorist, Perspectives on World History and Current Events, 2005. URL: http://www.pwhce.org/asohawleri.html Downloaded:
|See Also||Usama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Mullah Krekar, Evolution of al-Qaeda: Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.|