He was a Muslim guerilla fighter and financier working with Chechen Mujahideen in the First Chechen War and the Second Chechen War.
Ibn Al-Khattab was falsely reported dead when Guantanamo captive Omar Mohammed Ali Al Rammah faced the allegations that he witnessed Khattab being killed in an Ambush in Duisi, a village in the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia on 28 April 2002. Khattab later survived a heavy-calibre bullet wound to the stomach and a landmine explosion. He was killed during the night of March 19-20, 2002, when a Dagestani messenger hired by the Russian FSB gave Khattab a poisoned letter. Chechen sources said that the letter was coated with "a fast-acting nerve agent, possibly sarin or a derivative." The messenger, a Dagestani double agent known as Ibragim, was reportedly tracked down and killed a month later in Azerbaijan on Shamil Basayev‘s orders. Ibn Al-Khattab was succeeded by Emir Abu al-Walid.