Saleem Ulman

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Saleem Ulman
D     E     C     E     A     S     E     D
Gender: Male   Male
Died: September 2009
Status: Deceased- died after being shot in the head by NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Portrayed by: Omid Abtahi
 First Appearance
  ●   NCIS: Aliyah (episode).
 Last Appearance
  ●   NCIS: Truth or Consequences (episode).
List of Appearances

Saleem Igor Ulman was the leader of a terrorist organization based in Somalia who was responsible for capturing and imprisoning former NCIS Liaison Officer to Mossad, Ziva David who he held hostage several months in North Africa while also torturing her so that he could obtain information on NCIS, presumably so that he and his men could launch a potential attack against the agency.


Ulman's origins are unknown and his formative years are completely shrouded in mystery. He spent several years in the United States, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University. During this period he developed an addiction to caffeine, which he indulged by drinking copious amounts of Caf-Pow (his fondness for the beverage would later prove to be his undoing, as NCIS was able to pinpoint the location of his camp by tracking shipments of his Caf-Pow deliveries much to Saleem's own anger). He also seemed to have a fondness for American football, as he defended Yale's collegiate record against Anthony DiNozzo's derision.

At some point after completing his studies he founded a terrorist group that eventually expanded to include a sleeper cell located in Los Angeles. The sleeper cell was broken through the efforts of NCIS and Mossad with the deaths of his operatives giving Ulman a strong desire for revenge.

Ulman later succeeded in capturing Mossad Officer Ziva David and subjected her to torture for several months. He later took NCIS Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee hostage.

During his interrogation, Ulman beat McGee to the point of unconscious before injecting Tony with a truth serum and was soon convinced that DiNozzo and McGee were acting independently of NCIS (which was semi-accurate), and lowered his guard, believing that his base was not about to be attacked by U.S. forces.

This was a mistake; on the pretext of telling him something important, Tony lured Ulman near a window, where he was killed by Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine sniper, who had been lying in wait on a hill and was using a sniper's rifle. A short time later, the base came under attack, allowing DiNozzo and McGee to escape with Ziva where they met up with Gibbs and all four later escaped back to America.

Saleem Ulman was frequently mentioned throughout the beginning of the seventh season.

In Reunion (episode), when discussing Ziva's psychological state following captivity, Vance told Gibbs that "Saleem's men put a world of hurt on her." Ducky stated in The Inside Man (episode) that her abuse by Saleem was much worse than they had originally suspected. In Good Cop, Bad Cop (episode), Ziva told Gibbs that she had been sent by Mossad along with three other operatives to take down Saleem at his terrorist camp in Somalia.

After one member of her team was killed and the other two were injured in a shooting, she had opted to continue to the camp alone and came "within a fingernail of Saleem" before being "overpowered".

Later, he was mentioned in Masquerade (episode) where Tony described him as a "Caf-Pow swooning, sociopathic terrorist".

In the same episode, Ziva told Tony that when she was held captive Ulman would try to justify his actions, though they were "indefensible".

Known Victims

  • Unnamed Mossad officer.
  • Various Americans and Israelis.
  • Mossad Officer Ziva David (held hostage and tortured repeatedly).
  • NCIS Agent Anthony DiNozzo (held hostage, tortured, injected with truth serum).
  • NCIS Agent Timothy McGee (held hostage, tortured).

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