Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Abdallah Azzam Brigades

aka Abdullah Azzam Brigades; Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Yusuf al-'Uyayri Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades

Description: The Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on May 30, 2012. AAB formally announced its establishment in a July 2009 video statement claiming responsibility for a February 2009 rocket attack against Israel. The group is divided into two branches: the Arabian Peninsula-based Yusuf al-'Uyayri Battalions of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, named after the now-deceased founder of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula; and the Lebanon-based Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, named after Ziad al Jarrah, a Lebanese citizen who was one of the masterminds of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Activities: AAB has relied primarily on rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, and is responsible for numerous rocket attacks fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon. These attacks have targeted population centers in Israel, including Nahariya and Ashkelon. In addition to rocket attacks, AAB carried out a July 2010 suicide bombing attack against the Japanese-owned oil tanker M/V M. Star in the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement released online, AAB claimed that the attack was carried out by its Arabian Peninsula Branch.

AAB has increased its operational pace since the onset of the Syrian insurgency, claiming responsibility for a rocket attack launched from Lebanon into northern Israel in August 2013. In November 2013, AAB claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 23 people and wounded over 140, and warned that the group would carry out more attacks unless Hizballah stops sending fighters to support Syrian government forces.

Strength: Unknown

Location/Area of Operation: AAB is based in both Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula.

Funding and External Aid: Unknown


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