Abdullah Azzam Brigades is an Sunni Islamist militant group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad movement. The group, which began operating in 2009, has local networks in various countries.[1] It is named after the late Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian from Jordan who was among the first Arabs to volunteer to join the Afghan jihad against the forces of the then Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Formed by Saleh al Qarawi after 2004 as an offshoot of al Qaeda in Iraq, and was tasked with hitting targets in the Levant and throughout the Middle East. Qarawi is a Saudi citizen and is on the list of 85 most-wanted terrorists that was issued by the Saudi Interior Ministry in 2009. "[The Abdullah Azzam Brigades] are not confined to Lebanon but there are targets that our fires will reach Allah‐willing in the near future...the Brigades are formed of a number of groups that are spread in numerous places...and the groups of 'Ziad al‐Jarrah' in Lebanon are only some of our groups, and we rushed to create these groups and announced them because of the urgency of the battle with the Jews and the priority of the initiative at the time and the place, but the rest of the groups are outside Lebanon." The "Ziad al Jarrah" is one of several battalions in the Abdullah Azzam Brigades. It operates primarily in Lebanon, and is named after Ziad al Jarrah, a Lebanese citizen who was one of the masterminds of the Sept. 11 attacks on the US. He was the pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Penn. after passengers attempted to retake the plane from the terrorist hijackers.[3]

Pakistan[edit | edit source]

A Pakistani network of the group, affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the Pearl Continental hotel bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan.[2] A spokesman for the group, Amir Muawiya, phoned media organizations claiming responsibility for the attack and promised more attacks were on the way, notably at the BBC offices in Islamabad.[4] He further stated that the bombing was in retaliation for Pakistan army operations in Swat and Malakand division of the North West Frontier Province and the tribal areas of Darra Adam Khel and Orakzai Agency at the "behest of United States."[5]

On 24 February 2012, this alleged group equipped with suicider bombers blew themselves up in an attack on a police station "C Division" in the heart of Peshawar. According to witnesses, total attackers were more than 10, armed with hand grenades and automatic weaponry with latest technology that was never been used before. CCP Peshawar Imtiaz Altaf told that two policemen were killed and six others were injured out of which two were in serious condition in Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar.[6]

Jordan[edit | edit source]

The group also claimed responsibility for a 2005 rocket attack on American warships on port call in Aqaba, Jordan. [7]

Persian Gulf[edit | edit source]

On 3 August 2010, a man who claims to be a spokesman of the brigade made a video statement that the brigade was involved in the attack on the Japanese oil tanker M. Star in the Strait of Hormuz in July 2010, although some analysts are skeptical about the claim.[8]

A BBC correspondent asserted that the Abdullah Azzam Brigades is a "name of convenience rather than an actual organisation."[8]

Gaza Strip[edit | edit source]

Template:Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel On 10 April 2011, according to Ma'an News Agency, a Gazan group calling itself "Marwan Haddad division of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in the Levant" claimed responsibility for firing a Grad missile at the Israeli city of Ashkelon and two other projectiles at the Zikim military base. The group said in a statement: "The shelling is part of ongoing retaliation to the crimes committed by the Zionists who were known for killing prophets. This will continue until the Palestinian land is liberated and Tawhid flag is raised."[9][10]

Syria[edit | edit source]

The group denied all involvement in the Dec. 23, 2011 suicide attack in the Syrian capital that killed 40 people. The terror group accused the Syrian government of attempting to deflect attention from its brutal crackdown on protesters that has killed more than 5,000 people. In a statement released on jihadist websites on Dec. 27, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades denied responsibility for the suicide attacks. The statement was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. [3]

References[edit | edit source]

ar:كتائب عبد الله عزام he:גדודי עבדאללה עזאם

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