Terrorist Groups Expanded

Terrorist Groups Expanded - AL-AQSA MARTYRS...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: AL-AQSA MARTYRS BRIGADEDescription: The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade consists of loose cells of Palestinian militants loyal to, but not under the direct control of, the secular-nationalist Fatah movement. Al-Aqsa emerged at the outset of the 2000 Palestinian al-Aqsa intifada as a militant offshoot of the Fatah party, attacking Israeli military targets and settlers with the aim of driving Israel from the West Bank and Gaza and establishing a Palestinian state. Al-Aqsa has no central leadership; the cells operate with autonomy, although they remained ideologically loyal to Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah party head Yassir Arafat until his death in November 2004.Activities: Al-Aqsa initially focused on small arms attacks against Israeli military personnel and settlers in the West Bank. In 2002, however, the group began to conduct suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Al-Aqsa suspended most anti-Israel attacks as part of the broader unilateral Palestinian ceasefire agreement during 2004 but resumed them following HAMAS's January 2006 victory in Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Al-Aqsa members continued the anti-Israeli and intra-Palestinian violence that contributed to the overall chaotic security environment in the Palestinian territories. In 2008, the majority of al-Aqsa attacks were rocket and mortar attacks into southern Israel from HAMAS-ruled Gaza. Israel agreed to extend a conditional pardon to 300 West Bank al-Aqsa members, but did not expand the program to the rest of the organization. Al-Aqsa has not targeted U.S. interests as a policy, although its anti-Israeli attacks have killed some dual U.S.-Israeli citizens.Strength: Current strength is unknown, but most likely numbers a few hundred.Location/Area of Operation: Al-Aqsa operates mainly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has conducted attacks inside Israel and Gaza. The group also has members in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.External Aid: Iran has exploited al-Aqsa's lack of resources and formal leadership by providing funds and other aid, mostly through Hizballah facilitators.ANSAR AL-ISLAMDescription: Ansar al-Islam (AI) is a Salafi terrorist group whose goals include expelling the U.S.-led Coalition from Iraq and establishing an independent Iraqi state based on Sharia law. AI was established in 2001 in Iraqi Kurdistan with the merger of two Kurdish extremist factions that traced their roots to the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan. In a probable effort to appeal to the broader Sunni jihad and expand its support base, AI changed its name to Ansar al-Sunna in 2003, in a bid to unite Iraq-based extremists under the new name. In December 2007, it changed its name back to Ansar al-Islam. AI has ties to the al-Qaida (AQ) central leadership and to al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI). Although AI did not join the AQI-dominated "Islamic State of Iraq", relations between AI and AQI have greatly improved and...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course GOV 365N taught by Professor Moser during the Fall '06 term at University of Texas at Austin.

Page1 / 12

Terrorist Groups Expanded - AL-AQSA MARTYRS...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online