Abbas al-Baqir Abbas

Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Militant Al-Takfir wa al-Hijran (Renunciation and Exile) faction
Number of victims: 23
Date of murders: December 8, 2000
Date of birth: 1967
Victims profile: Male worshippers
Method of murder: Shooting (Kalashnikov assault rifle)
Location: Omdurman, Sudan
Status: Shot to death by police

Abbas al-Baqir Abbas was from Al-Dasis in the northern part of Al Jazirah. It was reported that his mother had left their home due to his religious fanaticism and that he beat his sister, accusing her of infidelity. He studied economics at Tripoli University, but was forced to leave Libya because of leading Islamist groups and thus threatening security. He was a former member of the Popular Defense Forces, fighting rebels in the southern part of Sudan.

Initially being a member of Ansar al-Sunna, Abbas left due to religious differences and joined Takfir wal-Hijra. It was said that he had repeatedly threatened members of Ansar al-Sunna with an attack similar to the one in 1994. Because of these threats, he was arrested in 1998 for four months, and again a few months prior to the shooting, along with 20 other people suspected of being members of Takfir wal-Hijra. However, he repented and claimed to have abandoned the group and its ideas, and as a result, he was released.

At al-Sunna al-Mohammediyya mosque in Jarafa, a village in the outskirts of Omdurman, Sudan on December 8, 2000 9:00 p.m During evening prayers 33-year-old Abbas al-Baqir Abbas, using a AK47, began shooting through a window at the people in the Mosque instantly killing 20 worshipers. He avoided the women’s section of the mosque. Later he refused to surrender to responding police units and was killed after a brief shootout. Thirty-three were wounded in the attack among. At least two of the injured later died of their wounds.

Witnesses stated that shots were fired from three directions and that there had been at least three attackers dressed in jellabiyas, all but one fleeing before police arrived.There were also reports that not only worshipers at the mosque were attacked, but that the gunman had rampaged through the village, killing at least two boys.

The following day, President Omar al-Bashir visited the mosque, paying his condolences to relatives of the victims and assured that a legislation would be passed to control fanatical religious groups, vowing “to rectify laws in order to protect society from destructive and harmful ideas.”. In the wake of the massacre, police and security forces were deployed in Khartoum State in a large scale inspection campaign to prevent further violence, leading to the arresting of 65 leading members of Takfir wal-Hijra and security laws were tightened, allowing law enforcement to detain suspects for up to six months.The amendments were criticized by opposition parties for curtailing liberties and they accused President Bashir of abusing the incident to increase his power.

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