The Top 20 Most Dangerous Extremists Around the World

CEP’s list of the 20 most dangerous extremists on the planet highlights the last known location, deaths attributed to these harbingers of terror, as well as analyzes the influence these extremists have had over their group, their followers, and their extremist movement at large. CEP has considered extremists from across the spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Muslim Buddhist group in Myanmar to Generation Identity, all are considered a huge threat to international security.

No. 1: Hassan Nasrallah
Secretary-General of Hezbollah

Date of Birth: August 31, 1960*

Also Known As: Hasan Abd-al-Karim*

Last Known Location: Lebanon or Iran*

Designations:

Background Information: Nasrallah is the secretary-general of the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, and an important figure in Lebanese politics.* Although Nasrallah does not hold official office in Lebanon, terrorism expert Walid Phares asserted, “[Nasrallah is] seen as a messianic figure, much higher than any official in Lebanon.”* Nasrallah has called for revenge against the United States after a U.S. airstrike killed IRGC-Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on January 3, 2020.*

Influence: Nasrallah has shaped Hezbollah into the dominant political power in Lebanon and is the “driving force” behind the group’s military operations.* Nasrallah has also called on Hezbollah’s supporters to participate in marches annually, such as the “Al Quds Day march,” around the world.* This activity, along with incitement in mosques and in Shi’ite cultural centers throughout Europe, contributes to an increase in anti-Semitism throughout the continent.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: It is difficult to determine exact figures. However, prior to September 11, 2001, Hezbollah was responsible for more deaths of Americans worldwide than any other organization.*

No. 2: Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla
Current ISIS caliph

Date of Birth: October 5, 1976*

Also Known As: Abu-‘Abdullah Qardash,* Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi,* Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi,* Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi,* Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi,* Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi,* Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi,* Abdullah Qardash,* Abdullah Kardesh,* Al-Ustadh,* Ameer Muhammed Saeed Al-Salbi Al-Mawla,* Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi,* Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman Al-Mawli,* Amir Muhammad Sa’id ‘Abd-al-Rahman Muhammad al-Mula,* Hajji ‘Abdallah,* Hajji Abdullah al-Afari,* Al-Hajj Abdullah,* Al-Hajj Abdullah Qardash,* Muhammad al-Mawla,* Muhammad Sa’id ‘Abd-al-Rahman al-Mawla,* Ustadh Ahmad,* “Professor”,* “Destroyer”,* ‘Abdul Amir Muhammad Sa’id Salbi,* Abu-‘Umar al-Turkmani*

Last Known Location: Iraq (suspected)*

Designations:

Background Information: Al-Mawla, an Iraqi national, succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of ISIS.* He was a senior terrorist leader in ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and steadily rose through the ranks of ISIS.*

Influence: It has been reported that al-Mawla has helped drive the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of members of Yazidi religious minority groups in Iraq. Despite not having the notoriety of his predecessor, he is at minimum the nominal head of a hierarchical terrorist organization that conducts global attacks and seeks to commit further acts of mass violence. The U.N. Security Council has suggested that ISIS fears that al-Mawla lacks some credentials that were usually necessary for a caliph and have kept him out of the spotlight to avoid endangering his position.* Al-Mawla may attempt to reboot the organization which has been weakened by years of U.S.-led assaults.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: According to figures provided by the United Nations, al-Mawla is thought to have orchestrated the August 2014 Sinjar massacre where 5,000 Yazidis were killed.* In 2016, ISIS was responsible for 9,150 deaths as a result of terrorist attacks and 1,300 people in 2018.*

No. 3: Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas political chief

Date of Birth: January 29, 1962*

Also Known As: Ismael Haniya,* Ismaeel Haniyya,* Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh,* Ismail Abdul Salah Haniya,* Ismail Hanieh,* Ismail Haniya,* Ismail Haniyah,* Ismail Haniyyah,* Ismayli Haniyeh*

Last Known Location: Resides in Doha as the head of Hamas’ politburo is expected to live outside the Gaza strip.*

Designations:

Background Information: Haniyeh is the chief of Hamas’s political bureau. He formerly served as deputy leader of Hamas between 2014 and 2017 and as Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza between 2007 and 2014.* Haniyeh has long advocated a political role for Hamas, resulting in his ascension to prime minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2006 when the group joined Palestinian politics before violently assuming control over Gaza the following year. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fired Haniyeh as prime minister in June 2007 following clashes between Hamas and Fatah forces. Haniyeh refused to accept his dismissal and instead expelled Fatah and the PA from Gaza.*

Influence: On August 3, 2020, a statement by Haniyeh’s office signaled Hamas’ intent to continue to commit acts of terrorism against Israel in the long term. In September 2020, Haniyeh said that Hamas has missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv and areas beyond it from the border with Gaza.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Hamas and Israel have fought three wars and several smaller battles over the past 13 years. Haniyeh has close links with Hamas’s military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians.* The U.S. Department of State claims Haniyeh has been involved in terrorist attacks targeting Israelis and Americans.*

No. 4: Beate Zchäpe
Member of the National Socialist Underground organization

Date of Birth: 1975*

Also Known As: N/A

Last Known Location: Germany

Designations: N/A

Background Information: Zschäpe, along with Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, founded the National Socialist Underground (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund or NSU)—a far-right and neo-Nazi terrorist organization in the early 1990s.* Zschäpe turned herself in to authorities in 2011, following a botched robbery that led to the group’s discovery.* She went on trial in May 2013, where she was charged with the murder of 10 immigrants and membership in a terrorist organization.* She was sentenced to life-long imprisonment on July 11, 2018.*

Influence: The discovery in 2011 of the NSU cell, which murdered at least 10 people, mostly of Turkish origin, between 2000 and 2007, sent shockwaves through the German political system. The failure of German police and intelligence agencies to uncover the activities of the group for so long, and the scale of the group’s crimes, led to a new debate on the threat of right-wing extremism in Germany. During the investigation into the NSU’s activities, an overlap between NSU members and the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) were uncovered. While direct links between the NSU and NPD have been hard to prove, newspapers pointed to the ideological role that the NPD had played in establishing an environment where violent right-wing extremist ideas could flourish.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: The NSU killed eight people of Turkish origin, one Greek man, and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The NSU was also responsible for the pipe bomb explosion in Cologne on June 9, 2004, that left 22 people injured and caused considerable property damage.*

No. 5: Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Islamist theologian and unofficial chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood

Date of Birth: September 9, 1926*

Also Known As: Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi*

Last Known Location: Doha, Qatar*

Designations:

Background Information: Qaradawi is an Islamist theologian and the unofficial chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Doha-based cleric—known for his extremist rhetoric and militant fatwas (religious decrees)—is one of Sunni Islam’s most influential scholars.* Qaradawi’s rhetoric and fatwas have demonstrated his support for terrorism. He has urged Muslims who are unable to fight jihad to financially support the mujahedeen (holy warriors).*

Influence: Qaradawi has gained eminence throughout the Muslim world by serving as the chairman of numerous Islamic organizations and operating on a variety of media platforms. He heads the Dublin-based European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), an influential European council that issues fatwas for European Muslims in an effort to enforce a parallel legal system of sharia (Islamic law).* Qardawi has supported suicide bombings, lauding the “martyrdom operations in which a given Muslim fighter turns himself or herself into a human bomb that casts terror in the hearts of the enemy.”* In 2005, he called suicide bombings in Iraq and Israel a “duty” and wavering in support of this duty is akin to “joining the Zionists and Americans….”* However, in 2016, Qaradawi forbade all suicide bombings, declaring that the Palestinians had developed “other capabilities,” referring to rockets Hamas has fired at Israel.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: On January 17, 2018, an Egyptian military court sentenced Qaradawi in absentia to life in prison on charges of incitement to murder, spreading false news, and vandalizing public property in relation to the 2015 death of an Egyptian police officer.*

No. 6: Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev
Founder of the Russian Imperial Movement

Date of Birth: June 2, 1960*

Also Known As: Vorobyov Stanislav Anatolyevich,* Stanislav Vorobev,* Stanislav Vorobyov*

Last Known Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia*

Designations:

Background: Vorobyev is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. Department of State and is the founder and one of the leaders of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization responsible for providing paramilitary-style training to neo-Nazis and white supremacists.* Vorobyev reportedly founded RIM in 2002.* RIM seeks to create a “mono-ethnic state” led by a “Russian autocratic monarchy,” preferably descended from the Romanov dynasty that led Russia before the 1917 revolution.*

Influence: Although the group is not sponsored by the Russian state, RIM has allegedly recruited and trained Russian fighters for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.* RIM’s training network includes two facilities in St. Petersburg, one called Partizan, which are allegedly used to train people for “global chaos” through training in woodland and urban assault, tactical weapons, and hand-to-hand combat training.* Additionally, the RIM has supported the efforts of neo-Nazi organizations in Scandinavia.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: The influence of RIM has been linked to attacks and murders in Europe and the United States in recent years. In late 2016 and early 2017, three members of the extreme right-wing Nordic Resistance Movement carried out a series of bombings in Sweden. Two of the perpetrators, Viktor Melin and Anton Thulin, had previously attended Partizan and Swedish officials believe it aided in their radicalization.*

No. 7: Ashin Wirathu
Communal Leader of the anti-Muslim Movement in Myanmar

Date of Birth: July 10, 1968*

Also Known As: Win Khaing Oo,* “Buddhist bin Laden”*

Last Known Location: Masoyein Monastery, Mandalay (surrendered himself to the police on November 2, 2020)*

Designations: N/A

Background: Wirathu, the leader of the anti-Muslim Buddhist group, the “969 movement,” has regularly called on Myanmar’s Buddhists to boycott Muslim businesses, and has warned that Myanmar’s Muslims want to “take over our country and make it an evil Islamic nation.” Wirathu previously served a nearly decade-long prison sentence for fomenting religious conflict, though he was released in 2012. Wirathu’s extremist and conspiratorial messaging is sold on DVDs and CDs throughout Myanmar.*

Influence: Wirathu has been described as the Burmese Bin Laden and Time magazine said that he was “The Face of Buddhist Terror” in July 2013. He has been active on YouTube and other forms of social media. Facebook banned his page on the charge of spreading religious hatred in January 2018.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Wirathu is not directly responsible for any deaths but is linked to the 2012 riots which erupted in Meiktila, a city in central Myanmar, leaving a mosque burned to the ground and over 100 dead.*

No. 8: Jehad Serwan Mostafa
Highest-ranking U.S. citizen fighting oversees with al-Shabaab

Date of Birth: December 28, 1981*

Also Known As: Ahmed Gurey,* “Emir Anwar”,* Anwar Al-Amriki,* Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir,* “Ahmed” (moniker),* “Anwar” (moniker),* Abu Anwar al-Muhajir*

Last Known Location: Somalia*

Designations:

Background: Mostafa is believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. citizen fighting overseas with a foreign terrorist group.* There is evidence that Mostafa played a role in the terrorist group’s external operations. In 2011, he appeared at a press conference in an apparent attempt to facilitate partnerships between al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups.* Since 2012, al-Shabaab has formally been in alliance with al-Qaeda.*

Influence: Mostafa has been linked to the use and development of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for terrorist attacks in Somalia. The FBI believes that he continues to play a leading role in planning operations against the government of Somalia, as well as internationally-backed African Union forces operating in the country and East Africa region.* Among Mostafa’s many roles in al-Shabaab, he is a leader in the group’s “explosives department” and holds a pivotal role across the media and soldier training wings. He is also reportedly close to the decision-making circle of Amniyat, al-Shabaab’s intelligence wing controlled by leader Mahad Warsame Qaley.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Mostafa has been linked to the use and development of explosives for terrorist attacks in Somalia. Following the group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, al-Shabaab began executing a score of violent attacks in Somalia’s neighboring countries, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, which left 68 people dead and 175 wounded. The group is also responsible for the April 2015 Garissa University attacks, wherein five al-Shabaab fighters stormed the Kenyan university, killing nearly 150 people. Since then, the group has continued to attempt and conduct terrorist attacks outside of its stronghold in Somalia.*

No. 9: Martin Sellner
Leader of Generation Identity’s Austrian chapter, leader of Defend Europe

Date of Birth: 1989*

Also Known As: N/A

Last Known Location: Austria*

Designations:

Background: Sellner is an Austrian ethno-nationalist and leader of the Identitären Bewegung (Identitarian Movement), also referred to as Generation Identity (GI), one of Europe’s fastest growing and most prominent far-right groups.* GI is a pan-European youth movement that originated in France in 2012 as the youth wing of France’s Les Identitaires movement.* GI has since spread to five other regions in Europe. Its newest branch claims to span the United Kingdom and Ireland, which the group claims are “inflicted by extreme multiculturalism.”* GI believes that white Europeans are falling victim to “the Great Replacement”—“the process by which the indigenous European population is replaced by non-European migrants.”* GI seeks to stop what it views as the Islamization of Europe, stop globalization, and reverse the “Great Replacement.”*

Influence: Considered the European far-right’s “poster boy,” Sellner has utilized social media to actively disseminate his agenda while gaining a hefty following of millennials in both Europe and the United States.* Before being suspended, his social media accounts acquired a mass following—his YouTube channel alone boasted over 93,000 followers,* with his Twitter* and Facebook* profile featuring 31,000 and 10,000 followers respectively. In July 2020, YouTube confirmed that Sellner’s channels were terminated in line with YouTube’s hate speech policies. He is considered particularly dangerous because of his reach, determination to radicalize and recruit a young generation of identitarians.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Sellner has professed the GI’s dedication to non-violence,* but GI has created militaristic training camps across Europe that feature combat training as well as anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant speakers.*

No. 10: Ahmad al-Hamidawi
Secretary-General of Kata’ib Hezbollah

Date of Birth: March 25, 1974*

Also Known As: Ahmad Muhsin Faraj al-Hamidawi,* Ahmed Kadhim Raheem al-Saedi,* Ahmad Kazim Rahim al-Sa’idi,* Abu Husayn*

Last Known Location: Iraq*

Designations:

Background: Hamidawi is the secretary-general of Iran-backed Iraqi militia Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH). Hamidawi reportedly joined KH in 2007, shortly after the group’s founding.* He received political, military, and intelligence training from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and was soon promoted to the KH’s Shura Council.* As a commander within KH, Hamidawi played a central role in planning attacks against American and Iraqi government security forces between 2007 and 2011.*

Influence: The U.S. State Department has said that Hamidawi has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. KH is an Iranian-sponsored, anti-American Shiite militia operating in Iraq with ancillary operations throughout Syria.* During the Iraq War, which began in 2003, the group planted deadly roadside bombs and used improvised rocket-assisted mortars to attack U.S. and coalition forces.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: According to U.S. diplomat Ali Khedery, KH is responsible for “some of the most lethal attacks against U.S. and coalition forces throughout the [U.S.-led war in Iraq].”* In October 2019, KH was reportedly involved in sniper attacks on peaceful protesters in Baghdad, which killed more than 100 people and injured an additional 6,000.* In January 2020, KH led protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and is likely responsible for the murder of counterterrorism expert Husham al-Hashimi.*

No. 11: Adel Abdel Bary
Al-Qaeda spokesman

Date of Birth: 1960*

Also Known As: Adel Mohammed Abdul Almagid Abdel Bary,* Abbas,* Abu Dia,* Adel*

Last Known Location: United Kingdom*

Designations: N/A

Background: Bary was al-Qaeda’s Europe-based propagandist in 1998. In 1999, Scotland Yard detectives arrested Bary as the co-conspirator of two bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. The attacks killed at least 200 people and injured thousands of others. In 2012, Bary was extradited to the United States where he admitted to helping plan the bombings. On December 11, 2020, Bary was deported back to the United Kingdom where MI5 and counterterrorism police are reviewing his return and resettlement.*

Influence: Bary’s role as co-conspirator of the east Africa embassy bombings catapulted al-Qaeda as an international threat. Al-Qaeda has played a role in innumerable terrorist attacks, and is most notoriously responsible for the multiple attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The 9/11 terror attacks—the deadliest ever on American soil—left nearly 3,000 people dead and provoked the United States to wage war against al-Qaeda in the group’s home bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other sanctuaries worldwide. Since then, the group has established five major regional affiliates pledging their official allegiance to al-Qaeda: in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, East Africa, Syria, and the Indian subcontinent.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Bary as the co-conspirator of two bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. The attacks killed at least 200 people and injured thousands of others.*

No. 12: Ahmed Umar Abu Ubaidah
Leader of Al-Shabaab

Date of Birth: 1972*

Also Known As: Abu Diriye,* Abu Ubaidah,* Abu Ubeydah,* Ahmad Umar,* Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah,* Ahmed Diriye,* Ahmed Omar Abu Ubaidah,* Mahad Diriye,* Sheikh Ahmed Umar,* Sheikh Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah,* Sheikh Ahmed Umar Abu Ubaidah,* Sheikh Mahad Omar Abdikarim,* Sheikh Omar Abu Ubaidaha*

Last Known Location: Somalia*

Designations:

  • In October 2014, the European Union announced that Ahmed Umar Abu Ubaidah was added to the list of persons subject to restrictive measures.*
  • The U.N. Security Council Committee added Ahmed Diriye to its list of individuals and entities subject to travel ban, asset freeze, and targeted arms embargo on September 24, 2014.*
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Ahmed Diriye as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on April 21, 2015.*

Background: Abu Ubaidah is the current emir of Somali terror group al-Shabaab.* Abu Ubaidah is a longtime senior member of al-Shabaab and supposedly served as former al-Shabaab emir, Ahmed Godane’s deputy. Some sources believe that Abu Ubaidah was a member of the Amniyat, the most feared division of al-Shabaab.* The Amniyat is made up of specially trained members who carry out high-level missions such as assassinations and are responsible for exposing rivals and informants within the wider group.* In November 2019, Abu Ubaidah appeared in a video naming the United States as the group’s primary target and demanded supporters attack Americans wherever they could.*

Influence: As al-Shabaab’s emir, Abu Ubaidah exercises responsibility for al-Shabaab’s operations and is directly responsible for Al-Shabaab’s activities which continue to threaten the peace, security and stability of Somalia. He is believed to hold the view that al-Shabaab is more than a Somali nationalist movement and instead is one front in al-Qaeda’s global jihad.* Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to Somalia and neighboring countries, with some experts believing the Somali government will collapse if the African Union peacekeeping mission is ended.

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Under al-Shabaab’s strict brand of sharia, stonings, amputations, and beheadings are regular punishment for criminals and apostates. The group violently persecutes non-Muslims and clashes frequently with humanitarian and international aid workers.* Following the group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, al-Shabaab began executing a score of violent attacks in Somalia’s neighboring countries, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, which left 68 people dead and 175 wounded. The group is also responsible for the April 2015 Garissa University attacks, wherein five al-Shabaab fighters stormed the Kenyan university, killing nearly 150 people. Since then, the group has continued to attempt and conduct terrorist attacks outside of its stronghold in Somalia. Al-Shabaab reportedly killed more than 4,200 people in 2016, making it the deadliest Islamic terror group in Africa. In October 2017, al-Shabaab was credited with the worst terror attack in Somalia to date––a truck bomb that killed over 300 people in Mogadishu.*

No. 13: Anjem Choudary
British Islamist cleric

Date of Birth: January 18, 1967*

Also Known As: Abu Luqman*

Last Known Location: London, United Kingdom*

Designations:

  • The U.S. Department of State designated Anjem Choudary as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on March 30, 2017.*
  • The United Kingdom added Anjem Choudary to its Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets on October 16, 2018.*
  • The ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the U.N. Security Council designated Anjem Choudary as an associate of ISIL on October 15, 2018.*

Background: British citizen Anjem Choudary is an internationally designated Islamist cleric and convicted ISIS supporter. Choudary and Bakri Mohammed founded al-Muhajiroun in 1996 after Bakri Mohammed was expelled from the international Islamist network Hizb ut-Tahrir.* Choudary and al-Muhajiroun have been linked to several notable extremists, and the group openly praised the 9/11 attacks.*

Influence: Between 1999 and 2016, Choudary and al-Muhajiroun were reportedly linked to almost one-quarter of the terror plots in the United Kingdom.* Authorities have noted Choudary’s influence in the failed 2004 fertilizer bomb plot, a failed 2012 plot to blow up a Territorial Army base with an explosives-filled toy car, and the 2017 London Bridge attack, among other plots. British police have identified at least 600 members of al-Muhajiroun who have been linked to terrorism. Nonetheless, a June 2019 report in British media revealed that none of these individuals were actually prosecuted for membership in al-Muhajiroun.* Choudary is also reportedly linked to some 300 individuals who have traveled to Syria to become foreign fighters for ISIS.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Choudary is believed to have influenced al-Muhajiroun members Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who in 2013 beheaded British soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby in southeast London.* Choudary also reportedly radicalized Abdul Latheef Mohamed Jameel, one of the nine suicide bombers who blew himself up in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, killing more than 250 people during the Easter Sunday attacks.*

No. 14: Mahathir Mohamad
Former Malaysian prime minister

Date of Birth: July 10, 1925*

Also Known As: N/A

Last Known Location: Malaysia*

Designations: N/A

Background Information: Mahathir Mohamad is the former prime minister of Malaysia, serving two separate terms. A controversial figure, Mahathir often criticized the West, LGBT people, and Jewish people. In 2019, Mahathir said that extremism would spread across Southeast Asia as governments fail to stem the tide of militants flocking to the region.* In October 2020, he came under fire for comments he made regarding a terrorist attack in Nice, France, claiming “Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”*

Influence: Mahathir is a respected leader in the Muslim world. He is a strident critic of Israel and has been accused of being anti-Semitic.* Additionally, Mahathir has supported ambitions for carving out a self-administered region for Muslims in Mindanao, Philippines, an area plagued by extremist violence and a secessionist war.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Mahathir is not directly responsible for specific acts of violence. However, his controversial opinions have led to international condemnation as it was alleged Mahathir supported extremist violence against the West.*

No. 15: Mullah Fateh Krekar
Iraqi-Kurdish jihadist preacher

Date of Birth: July 7, 1956*

Also Known As: Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad,* Fateh Najm Eddine Farraj,* Farraj Ahmad Najmuddin*

Last Known Location: Italy*

Designations:

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Mullah Fateh Krekar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on December 7, 2006.*
  • The ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the U.N. Security Council designated Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad on December 7, 2006.*

Background: Krekar is a Sunni Iraqi Kurdish jihadist preacher and militant who traveled to Norway as a refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan in 1991. He is the founder of the now defunct Islamist group Ansar al-Islam. On March 26, 2020 he was confirmed by Norwegian authorities to have been extradited to Italy where he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for leading a jihadist network.*

Influence: On July 18, 2019, an Italian court sentenced Krekar to 12 years in prison for leading the now defunct jihadist group, Rawti Shax network. The extremist Kurdish movement allegedly had links to ISIS and intended to carry out attacks in Western countries. In 2015, European authorities, including Italian authorities, arrested 16 Iraqi-Kurdish nationals involved with the Rawti Shax network for attempting to recruit foreign terrorist fighters to be sent to Iraq and Syria. The recruiters also provided the foreign terrorist fighters with logistical and financial support.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Krekar was charged and sentenced to five years in a Norwegian prison for issuing death threats against former government ministers.*

No. 16: Rinaldo Nazzaro
Russia-based leader of The Base white supremacist network

Date of Birth: 1973*

Also Known As: “Norman Spear”, “Roman Wolf”*

Last Known Location: Russia*

Designations:

Background: Nazzaro launched The Base in June 2018. The Base is a neo-Nazi, white-supremacist network that describes itself as an “international survivalist and self-defense network” that seeks to train their members for fighting a race war.* The Base is influenced by the race war called for in the book Siege by neo-Nazi James Mason. The Base is an accelerationist group that encourages anarchy on the onset so it can then “impose order from chaos.”*

Influence: The Base has described itself as a “white protection league” and has organized training camps around North America for their members in weaponry and military tactics.* The network is active in North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia.* In January 2020, federal authorities arrested three men suspected of membership in The Base who were allegedly plotting to murder a couple, supposedly affiliated with the far-left antifa movement, in Bartow County, Georgia.* That same month, three suspected Base members were arrested for allegedly stockpiling weapons and training for an assault on a pro-Second Amendment rally in Virginia, reportedly in the hopes of sparking a civil war.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: There has not been confirmation of any deaths carried out by The Base. Since the public revelation of the identities of The Base’s leadership and several high-profile arrests in January 2020, some U.S. media have claimed U.S. authorities dismantled The Base.*

No. 17: Simon Lindberg
Leader of the Nordic Resistance Movement in Sweden

Date of Birth: 1983*

Also Known As: N/A

Last Known Location: N/A

Designations:

Background: Lindberg is the leader of the Swedish chapter of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). Formed by neo-Nazi nationalists in Sweden in 1997, the NRM seeks to merge all Nordic countries into a single, nationalist-socialist state, either by elections or through revolution. The group is openly racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and pro-Hitler—and has carried out violence targeting gay people, ideological opponents and, more recently, Muslim refugees.* In January 2018, a Swedish court convicted Lindberg of “contempt for groups based on their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin by shouting ‘Sieg Heil’ while raising his right arm upwards” during a November 2016 rally.*

Influence: Since the start of 2015, NRM’s branch in Sweden (NRM-Sweden) has grown more than one-third in size by advocating against Sweden’s open-door policy to Muslim asylum seekers. That chapter registered as a political party in July 2015, and held its largest rally in September 2017—convening more than 600 demonstrators in the streets of Gothenburg.* Many of the NRM’s co-founders and early members came from the now-defunct White Aryan Resistance (Vitt Ariskt Motstand, or VAM) and its offshoot National Youth (Nationell Ungdom). The VAM, a network of Swedish neo-Nazis formed in the early 1990s, was notorious for carrying out attacks against immigrants and gay people and for funding its violence through bank robberies. The group splintered into several white-power groups in or around 1995, among them National Youth, which would go on to serve as the NRM’s youth movement.*

Deaths Attributed to Individual/Organization: Although there have not been reports of deaths attributed to the group, NRM leaders and members have carried out numerous attacks against gay people, Muslim asylum seekers, and the group’s ideological adversaries. In 2017, the European NGO Expo found that a quarter of NRM's members had been convicted of violent crime.*

No. 18: Samantha Lewthwaite
Alleged member of al-Shabaab and former wife of 7/7 London terrorist bomber

Date of Birth: December 1983*

Also Known As: “The White Widow”,* Sherafiyah,* Natalie Faye Webb*

Last Known Location: Unknown, though it suspected that she is being protected by al-Shabaab operatives on the Somalia-Kenya border.*

Designations:

Background: Lewthwaite, a.k.a. the “White Widow,” is an alleged member of al-Shabaab and the former wife of 7/7 London terrorist bomber, Germaine Lindsay. It is alleged that Lewthwaite moved to Kenya in either 2007 or 2011 under a fraudulent passport by the name of Natalie Faye Webb, and shortly after began to work closely with extremist groups in eastern Africa.*

Influence: According to experts, Lewthwaite was originally shielded by an al-Qaeda unit called the “suicide squad,” but later took on a key role in al-Shabaab to plan and carry out attacks.* Lewthwaite has been implicated in a 2012 bombing at a bar in Mombasa, Kenya, as well as being associated with the 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall which killed over 71 people. Interpol and Kenyan authorities are currently pursuing Lewthwaite for alleged possession of explosives and conspiracy.*

Death Attributed to Individual/Organization: Kenyan authorities allege that Lewthwaite was involved in a grenade attack at the Jericho bar in Mombasa on June 24, 2012. The attack killed three.* Lewthwaite was also implicated in the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping center which took place on September 21, 2013, where al-Shabaab militants stormed the center with grenades and indiscriminately fired at shoppers. The attack killed at least 71 and injured over 200 others.*

No. 19: Tooba Gondal
ISIS member and jihadi-bride fixer

Date of Birth: 1994*

Also Known As: “ISIS Matchmaker,”* Umm Muthanna Al-Britaniyah*

Last Known Location: France*

Designations: N/A

Background: Gondal is a French-born, British-Pakistani recruiter for ISIS. She was pivotal in recruiting “jihadi” brides for ISIS militants in Syria, who she reached out to through social media platforms, specifically Twitter. While a student at Goldsmiths, University of London, she became radicalized and later traveled to Syria with her husband, ISIS recruiter Abu Abbas al-Lubnani.* While in Syria, Gondal allegedly undertook weapons training. However, following her capture by Kurdish-led forces and eventual deportation to France from Turkey in 2019, she claims to have foregone her extremist beliefs and seeks to return to the United Kingdom.*

Influence: Gondal was responsible for grooming jihadi brides with propaganda, including the notorious Shamima Begum.* Gondal allegedly organized the financial sponsorship of British girls who fled to Syria to become jihadi brides.*

Death Attributed to Individual/Organization: Gondal has not been associated with any deaths. However, all three of her late husbands were involved in ISIS activities, including a suicide bombing.*

No. 20: David Myatt
Former neo-Nazi and the founder of Order of Nine Angles

Date of Birth: 1950*

Also Known As: Anton Long,* Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt*

Last Known Location: United Kingdom*

Designations: N/A

Background: Myatt is the founder of The Order of Nine Angles (ONA or O9A)—a U.K.-based Nazi, Satanist occult group founded in the 1970s. The group reveres Adolf Hitler and imbues Nazi symbology with mystical meaning.* During the 1990s, Myatt was one of the founders of the hardline British National Socialist Movement (NSM) and was reportedly a leader in Combat 18, a violent far-right group.* In 2006, Myatt converted to an extreme form of Islam and supported killing Muslim apostates. He claimed that the far right was incapable of bringing out societal revolution and Islam was the answer.* Myatt claims to have left ONA but still maintains a relationship with the organization.*

Influence: ONA’s influence can be seen in neo-Nazi groups such as the U.S.-based group Atomwaffen Division and its U.K.-based offshoot Sonnenkrieg Division.* ONA has affiliated groups in the United States, Australia, and Europe.* ONA members have been involved in several violent terrorist plots. In 2019, for example, a 16-year-old British boy from Durham, England, became the youngest individual in the country to be convicted of planning a terror attack. The boy was reportedly partially influenced by ONA.* In June 2020, American authorities arrested U.S. soldier Ethan Melzer, who was planning an attack on his own unit stationed in Italy. Melzer had been communicating online with members of ONA.*

Death Attributed to Individual/Organization: Myatt reportedly influenced NSM member David Copeland, who set off multiple nail bombs around London in the spring of 1999, killing three people and injuring 139 in the hope of starting a race war.*

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On June 13, 2016, convicted terrorist Larossi Abballa stabbed to death two married police officers in their home in Magnanville, France, in an attack claimed by ISIS. Abballa livestreamed the murder on Facebook and held the couple’s three-year-old son hostage before police stormed the home.

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