Qasim was believed to be the head of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya in Egypt.  After he fled Egypt, the authorities filed requests for his extradition.

In the early 1990s, he obtained asylum in Denmark and settled there. In 1995, he travelled to Croatia to write about the Yugoslav conflict and was arrested in Zagreb, according to sources close to his family.

He was passed on to the CIA and then handed over to the Egyptian authorities. He was executed shortly after.