Ali Baba

What is Ali Baba?


Generic slang term used in the Mid-East region for "bad guy". Comes from the fable 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'.

When non-English speaking middle-easterners want to point out terrorists, criminals, and assorted scum to US troops they point and yell, "Ali Baba! Ali Baba!"


Unfortunate term among Iraq War GIs to describe any Iraqi bad guy: looter, thief, insurgent, terrorist, or suspect.

The use of "Ali Baba" is probably not helping us win the war for Hearts and Minds in Iraq.

See pejorative, iraq, terrorism, rhetoric, hearts and minds, gis


Ali Baba is used generally in the middle East meaning to steal, this pre-dates the Iraq war. The term relates mainly to petty theft.

Someone will ali baba that if you leave it there

See steal, nick, pinch


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