Abd-el-Krim,(1880?-1963), a Moorish chieftain, leader of the Riff tribes in Morocco. His revolt against Spanish rule in Morocco was successful during 1921-24. Then his forces attacked the French Zone, but were defeated in 1926 by combined Spanish and French armies. Although exiled for more than 20 years on the island of RĂ©union, Abd-el-Krim remained a national hero. In 1947 he fled to Egypt, becoming a leader of the North African nationalist movement. His exploits in Morocco inspired Sigmund Romberg's operetta The Desert Song (1926).