Abd al-Aziz Awda
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Religious Leader
Abd al-Aziz Awda (aka Sheik Odeh) was born December 20, 1950, in the Gaza Strip next to the world’s largest Palestinian refugee camp. He co-founded the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the 1970s as a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He studied Arab and Islamic studies at a university in Cairo, and has grown to become known as the PIJ’s spiritual leader. He is presumed to be operating from the PIJ’s current headquarters near Damascus while orchestrating bombings, murders, extortions, and money laundering.