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There is no such thing, Gideon. They were infidels. And they were engaged in activities that spread American policies over the entire world. Your incessant need to own things... material things. Your capitalism rests on the back of third-world countries. No one's hands are clean. No one is innocent.

Jamal Abaza[1], a.k.a. "Jind Allah", is an international terrorist and proxy killer who appears in the Season Two episode of Criminal Minds, "Lessons Learned".


"What do you say to his [the dead DEA agent] family?"
"I say, 'Where were you to mourn when my son was murdered?'"

Abaza was born and raised in Egypt, likely in Cairo, memorized the Quran by the age of nine, and became an Islamic cleric. In 1999, his son was one of twelve killed in an airstrike. The Egyptian government blamed Hezbollah, but a conspiracy theory on the streets claimed it was a joint U.S.-Israeli airstrike that went astray. Abaza apparently believed the latter, his protests having made at least one headline in local newspapers. Eventually, he became a sworn enemy of the U.S., adopting the alias "Jind Allah", literally "soldier of God", joined Al-Qaeda, moved to the U.S., became a member of the Militant Islamic Society, and recruited more members to the Omega Cell (a sleeper cell) as a prison imam. In 2006, he was caught trying to leave the country using a forged Pakistani passport from the Richmond International Airport, was brought to Guantanamo Bay, and held as a ghost detainee. During his time there, he apparently had a three-minute long conversation with a fellow inmate in the shower line. Whatever he told the inmate, it caused him to commit suicide the following night.

Lessons Learned[]

"I often forget that in your culture you put your country first, and your god last."


Abaza being interrogated.

Two months later, when the DEA raids a suspected methamphetamine lab and finds a device built by MIS members used to disperse anthrax, a communication radio registered to Abaza's alias is found. This was part of the MIS's plan, as it sent Gideon, Reid and Prentiss of the BAU to Guantanamo Bay to try and trick Abaza into revealing the plan, their arrival signaling to him that the plan is proceeding. Gideon leads the questioning and even gives Jamal access to water and permission to pray regularly. They spent the following two days discussing their beliefs and ideologies as well as the Qur'an and Abaza's past. At first, he retells the bombing that killed his son, except he tells it as if he was a young boy who saw half of his family get killed in the airstrike.

Later, when a DEA agent is killed during a raid on a fake MIS headquarters, Abaza opens up more and tells Gideon the true story. During the whole time, Gideon keeps lying about Abaza's prayer times, Islamic prayers being required to be done at certain times of the day. Since he has no clocks available, Abaza trusts Gideon. The shortened intervals between the prayers gives Abaza the impression that the MIS attack has already taken place. This illusion is created by reducing the light and putting together a fake newscast. When Gideon asks to know the reasons for the "attack", Abaza mentions that it would take place at the grand opening of a shopping center. When he does so, the BAU reveals the bluff, leaving Abaza distraught over having been tricked. He has presumably been kept at Guantanamo Bay ever since.

Modus Operandi[]

It is unspecified whether or not Abaza actually directly killed any victims, leaving the term "M.O." somewhat misused. His only known victim, an unknown Guantanamo Bay detainee, was manipulated by him into committing suicide by unknown means.


No official profile of Jamal was made by the BAU.

Known Victims[]

  • Presumably killed numerous prior victims during his time with the MIS
  • November 7, 2006: An unnamed male Guantanamo Bay detainee (indirectly; manipulated him into committing suicide in an unspecified manner)


  • "Lessons Learned" presents a twist on the "ticking time bomb scenario" seen on so many TV shows. Instead of torturing the detainee who has information that could stop the detonation of a biological bomb, Gideon merely talks cordially to Abaza. In the process, he is able to learn more from the suspect in less than 48 hours than the rougher tactics of CIA interrogators were able to elicit in two months. The episode, written by an actual FBI agent (Jim Clemente), shows how sophisticated techniques are likely to yield more information than abusive ones.[2]



  1. Arabic script: جمال اباظة, written as "Jamal Abaza" in English