Abdullah Azzam is Assassinated
On this day in 1989, Azzam and his two sons, Ibrahim and Mohammed were killed by a twenty kilogram roadside bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Allegations of bin Laden or al-Zawahiri's involvement abounded, surrounding Azzam's death.
Azzam had been in an ideological struggle for influence over Osama bin Laden with Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri espoused a takfiri ideology, one that stated that any Muslims that opposed them were apostates. Zawahiri would use takfir as the justification for terror attacks that included civilian and Muslim casualties. Azzam abhorred the use of tactics that might result in the deaths of women, children or other Muslims. Furthermore, the Egyptian fighters in Afghanistan wanted a Saudi leader, not Azzam, who was a Palestinian. Over time, Ayman al-Zawahiri's beliefs and talking points would replace many of Azzam's in bin Laden's methodology, resulting in a permanent split between Azzam and bin Laden. Azzam's death would occur shortly after bin Laden left Afghanistan to return to Saudi Arabia.