Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi
He was the leader of a large-scale armed Berber resistance movement in the Rif, a large Berber-speaking area in northern Morocco. Together with his brother Mhemmed, he led a broad coalition of major Rifian tribes against French and Spanish colonial occupation. His guerrilla tactics are known to have influenced Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, and Che Guevara.

Early life
Abd el-Krim was born in Ajdir, Morocco, the son of 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi, a qadi (Islamic judge) of the Aith Yusuf clan of the Aith Uriaghel (or Waryaghar) tribe. Abd el-Krim received a traditional education at a mosque school in Ajdir, followed by a period at a religious institute at Tetouan.[4] At the age of twenty, it appears he studied for two years in Fez at the Attarine and Seffarine medersas, in order to prepare to enter the famous Qaraouiyine university.[5] His brother, M'Hammad received a Spanish education, studying mine engineering in Malaga and Madrid. Both spoke fluent Spanish and Arabic. After his studies, in 1906, Abd el-Krim was sent to Melilla by his father. He worked there as a teacher and translator (until 1913), working for the OCTAI - the Spanish 'native affairs' office - and became a journalist for the Spanish newspaper Telegrama del Rif (1906–1915).

First World War
Abd el-Krim entered the Spanish governmental structure, and was appointed chief qadi (Muslim judge) for Melilla in 1914. During the war Abd el-Krim was punished by the Spanish government for anticolonial activities including an alleged conspiracy with the German consul Dr. Walter Zechlin (1879–1962). He was imprisoned in Chaouen from 1916 to 1917. At the end of the war, Abd el-Krim briefly resumed publishing in a Spanish-language newspaper, but soon, fearful of extradition to the French for punishment, he returned to his home at Ajdir in January 1919. He was alarmed by the appearance of Spanish agents in Ayt Weryaghel tribal territory and was determined to fight for his tribe's independence. The following year, Abd el-Krim, together with his father and brother, began a war of rebellion against the Spanish incursions. His goal was now to unite the tribes of the Rif into an independent Republic of the Rif to undermine the entire French-Spanish colonial project in Morocco.

Rif War (1920)Exile