The veteran al-Qa’ida strategist and erstwhile journalist best known as Abu’l-Walid al-
Masri ( ابو الوليد المصري ) was born Mustafa Hamid ( مصطفى حامد ) in Minya al-Qamh in the
northern Egyptian state of Sharqia in 1945, to a family of the Banu Hilal clan. Now in
his sixties, he has been intimately involved in jihadi movements throughout the world for
the past four decades. Though little known to the public, Abu’l-Walid has been a leading
strategic thinker for al-Qa’ida since its earliest beginnings and has also been its fiercest
and most prolific internal critic.

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