Name of leader         al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim

Birth Name                Ahod Balawag Ebrahim

 

Organization             The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

Conflict country        The Philippines

Gender                        Male   

    

Year of birth               1949[1]

 

Place of birth             Western Mindanao province of Maguindanao, the Philippines[2]

 

Year of death             N/A

 

 

Deceased

 

No, there is no evidence that he has died.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

In August 2003, he became MILF chairman. Therefore, he was 54 years old when he assumed the highest leadership role in MILF.[3]

Leader entry method

 

He was appointed/designated. In 2003, after the death of Hashim Salamat, MILF’s founder, Ebrahim as Salamat’s deputy and MILF’s military commander assumed the role as MILF chairman.[4]

 

Powersharing

 

No, there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

He finished high school or equivalent. He attended high school in nearby Cotabato City, then studied engineering at the city's Notre Dame University, which teaches both Christians and Muslims.[5] However, at 22, Ebrahim quit college to go underground, one semester short of getting his civil engineering degree.[6]

 

 “Ibrahim persisted in the study of the Koran at the family-operated madrasah (Muslim school) in Barangay Katidtuan between the towns of Libungan and Sultan Kudarat in the old province of Cotabato. While pursuing his Koranic studies at the madrasah, he went to a regular high school with the help of some well-to-do relatives, the prominent Pesigan clan among them.”        

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes. Ebrahim married his secretary, Lupia.[7] In the late 1970s, he married his wife. His age on his first marriage should be around late-20s.[8]

 

Children

 

Yes. He has two sons.[9]

 

Religious identification

 

He is Muslim.[10]

Family background

 

No, he does not come from an elite or political family.[11]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

Yes. According to government intelligence sources, Ebrahim became involved in the Muslim —which the proponents call the Moro—independence movement while still a student at Notre Dame when he met the charismatic Nur Misuari and the Egypt-trained Islamic scholar Hashim Salamat, the leaders of the nascent Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). By 1980, he had transformed into one of the MNLF’s most “influential and notorious” commanders linked to countless deaths in battle. That same year, he was named commander of the MNLF’s Kutawato Revolutionary Committee, replacing Ronnie Malagiok, who decided to surrender to the Marcos government. Although Ebrahim will not confirm it, government intelligence sources believe he joined anti-Soviet forces fighting alongside future al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s.[12]

 

Physical and mental health

 

No, there is no evidence of poor physical or mental health.

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

He was an engineering student at the university before he eventually dropped out and went underground. He really never pursued any legitimate career.[13]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a state military.

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes. When he returned to Mindanao after only a few weeks of military training, Ebrahim became known as “Murad” and was designated MNLF field commander of Zone 1. In 1980, he was named commander of the MNLF’s Kutawato Revolutionary Committee, replacing Ronnie Malagiok, who decided to surrender to the Marcos government.[14]

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

Yes. He led rebel forces in engaging soldiers and the dreaded Ilaga/Civilian Home Defense Force in fire fights in various areas of what are now the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato.[15]

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence that he held a government position.

 

Lived in exile?

 

No, there is no evidence that he lived in exile.

 

Study abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence that he studied abroad.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

Yes. He received military training along with dozens of other Moro youths in Sabah in East Malaysia to train and become pioneers of the MNLF.[16]

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence that he had extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

No, there is no evidence that he served time in prison.

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No, there is no evidence of an assassination attempt by the state.

 

Cause of Death?

 

N/A

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

He speaks Maguindanaon as his primary language. He also speaks some English.

 

 

 

Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/MILF_Chairman_Murad_%28cropped%29.jpg

[1] Joe Cochrane, “The Road to Peace,” Newsweek, September 5, 2004, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/road-peace-127145

[2] Joe Cochrane, “The Road to Peace,” Newsweek, September 5, 2004, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/road-peace-127145

[3] Joe Cochrane, “The Road to Peace,” Newsweek, September 5, 2004, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/road-peace-127145

[4] Angel Rabasa, The Muslim World After 9/11 (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 2004), 402.

[5] Joe Cochrane, “The Road to Peace,” Newsweek, September 5, 2004, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/road-peace-127145

[6] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad.

[7] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[8] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[9] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[10] Joe Cochrane, “The Road to Peace,” Newsweek, September 5, 2004, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/road-peace-127145

[11] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[12] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[13] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[14] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad

[15] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad.

[16] Allan Nawal, “Murad: Born fighter who rarely gets mad,” Inquirer.Net, October 14, 2012, accessed April 7, 2017, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/288528/murad-born-fighter-who-rarely-gets-mad