Gamal al-Alusi was born to Iraqi exiles in Germany and grew up in Hamburg. One of his longtime German friends described Gamal as an intelligent young man who liked to play basketball and take flying lessons. He was also social and humorous, and served as a peacemaker among his friends.
Like other teenagers, he sneaked around with his girlfriends behind his traditional parents and had future plans that changed from week to week. As is also fashionable among many European youths, his political views during early years were characterized by the friend as being “radical” and even “anti-American.”
Nevertheless, Gamal apparently felt having a “normal” job in Germany would not give him the satisfaction of having done something meaningful with his life. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, he left Germany and went to Iraq with his father, Mithal al-Alusi, an Iraqi native who had been a vocal critic of the Ba’ath regime.
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