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Abu Walid al Masri

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Mustafa Hamid (Arabic: مصطفى حامد, born 1945 in Minya al-Qamh, Sharqia Governorate, Egypt), also known as Abu Walid al Masri (أبو وليد المصري) and Hashim al-Makki (هاشم المكّي), is a journalist who in the 1980s fought as an Islamic jihad volunteer during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He is reported to have been an al-Qaeda advisor and taught at the Al Farouq training camp in the 1990s. He served as a bureau chief in Afghanistan for al-Jazeera from 1998-2001, before leaving for Iran.


There he was arrested and placed under house arrest for nearly a decade. In 2011 he was released, and returned to Egypt after its revolution.

In Egypt

Mustafa Hamid was born in 1945 in Minya al-Qamh, Sharqia Governorate, Egypt. He became a journalist.

In Afghanistan

While living in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mustafa Hamid married Rabiah Hutchinson, an Australian convert a. In Kabul, Hutchinson was regarded for her medical knowledge.


After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, at the age of nearly 40, he went there to fight as an Islamic jihad volunteer, along with many other men from the Mideast, who became known as the "Afghan Arabs." During the 1980s, the United States provided some support to the mujahideen resistance to the Soviet Union, primarily through the CIA. Hamid became known by his kunya as Abu Walid al Masri.

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, al Masri also worked as a journalist for the Arabic-language Al Ettihad news. He reportedly taught as a senior advisor at the Al Farouq training camp for a time in the mid 1990s. This was during the period when ethnic groups and warlords competed for power in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union. By 1996, the Taliban emerged in control of much of the country. Al-Masri has been described as a leader or advisor to al-Qaeda, based in Afghanistan by then and associated with the Farouq camp, although he has disclaimed this.

From 1998-2001, during the latter years of the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, al Masri served as the bureau chief of Al Jazeera in Kandahar, Afghanistan. After the attacks of September 11 in the United States, Afghanistan was attacked by American-led forces, including the Afghan Northern Alliance, during Operation Enduring Freedom beginning in the fall of 2001.

Hamid left the Afghan city of Herat and crossed over into Iran. He was taken into custody by police, and sentenced to house arrest. He spent much of the next decade in this detention.

On December 31, 2010, Hamid posted a series of letters online, introducing them as "five articles, full of frankness and ardor, sent to me by one of the brothers in jihad, an old comrade in arms from Afghanistan." These are thought to have been written by the al Qaeda commander Saif al-Adel. The letters discuss the current jihad in Afghanistan, contain constructive criticisms of the Mujahideen and Islamic Scholars and argue that the Jihadist movement needs to acknowledge and learn from its mistakes. An additional five letters, allegedly from Saif al-Adel, were posted on 23 March 2011, covering the Arab Spring uprisings.

In 2011, Hamid was released by Iran. He returned to Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. There he was interviewed by Leah Farrall, an Australian counterterrorism scholar, who published an article about him in Atlantic in 2011, which also described his view of Iran's politics in Afghanistan.

In 2015 Hamid and Farrall published The Arabs at War in Afghanistan.


Abu Walid al Masri Wikipedia

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