1. Arrival in the U.S. and Entry into MOA

Ali Abdelaziz has used a wide variety of alternate names and a variety of spellings and orderings of those names. 


He fought under the name of “Ali Ibrahim.” His student record from Egypt identifies him as Alaa Ragb Farig Abdel Aziz Ahmed. His name on other documents is some version of Alaa’eldin Ragb Fekry Abdelaziz, or “Aladdin” for short. In other cases, he stole the identities of people with completely different names.

Abdelaziz is said to have first arrived in the U.S. in 1996, purportedly as an Egyptian Olympian. 

Independent MMA muckraker Mike Russell, who began a series on Abdelaziz in 2016, has concluded that Abdelaziz was never actually an Olympian. It was merely a cover for entering and staying in the United States.

Little is known about Abdelaziz’s background in Egypt.

Russell has claimed that his brother is imprisoned in Egypt for a bank robbery and there’s “some evidence he was running from check fraud charges in Egypt.” 

One cousin, Mohammad Hassan, was involved with Abdelaziz and MOA’s criminal activity according to the Colorado Springs Police Department reports published here.

Abdelaziz has another prominent cousin named Karam Gaber, also known as Karam Mohamed Ibrahim Gaber, who has been called “Egypt’s all-time greatest Olympian.” He was identified by a Colorado newspaper as Ali Abdelaziz’s cousin in 2004. The article included a picture of them laughing together after leaving the airport.

Gaber was training in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs at the time. He won a gold medal in 2004 under his full name of Karam Gaber Ibrahim. Ali Abdelaziz used the same surname while competing in judo matches as “Ali Ibrahim.”

Gaber also mentioned having a brother in New York in 2004, who would therefore also be a relative of Ali Abdelaziz’s. It is unclear if the reference was to Mohammad Hassan or another relative.

The police documents do not specifically mention Gaber or indicate that he was involved in any criminal activity. 

The reports show that Abdelaziz logged in and out of seven sessions at the Olympic Training Center between October 23, 1996 and December 31, 2001, using different versions of his name.

Six of his entries were under the name “Alaa Ragb Abdel Aziz. A two-day session on October 28, 1997 was under “Ragp Fekry Abdel Aziz.”

While he was training at the OTC, Abdelaziz was involved in several criminal schemes with MOA. It is unclear how he first met MOA. Abdelaziz told Mawyer that he first met them at a mosque but would not identify which one.

Ryan Mauro

Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Mauro is a frequent contributor to Clarion’s dynamic website ClarionProject.org, providing insightful analysis of the latest news around the global on this subject. The site is viewed by over 250,000 visitors per month.