AL-QAIDA IN IRAQ

QDe.115
AL-QAIDA IN IRAQ
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
28 March 2011
Date(s) on which the narrative summary was updated: 
3 June 2014
3 February 2016
18 January 2018
Reason for listing: 

Al-Qaida in Iraq was listed on 18 October 2004 pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 16 of resolution 1526 (2004) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Usama bin Laden and Al-Qaida (QDe.004).

Additional information: 

Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) is an extremist group operating in Iraq. It was led by extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also known as Ahmad Fadil Nazal al-Khalayleh (deceased), who was killed in June 2006. Al-Zarqawi had been operating independently in Iraq since mid-2003 using the name Jama’at al-Tawhid Wa’al-Jihad (JTJ). Al-Zarqawi’s group was responsible for the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad that killed at least 23 people, including United Nations Special Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

JTJ, under Al-Zarqawi, established links to Al-Qaida (QDe.004). Al-Zarqawi had a long-standing connection with the senior Al-Qaida leadership, appeared to be well regarded by them and was a close associate of Usama bin Laden (deceased). He arranged for his followers to be trained in Al-Qaida camps.

Since his designation by the 1267 Committee, Al-Zarqawi moved the center of his operations to Iraq and consolidated his group of operatives under JTJ. As the leader of JTJ, his ties to Al-Qaida, however, remained, as evidenced by a letter intercepted in February 2004 that Al-Zarqawi wrote to Al-Qaida/Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan, taking credit for various terrorist attacks.

In October 2004 JTJ issued a statement pledging allegiance to Usama bin Laden, and undertook to follow Bin Laden’s orders. At this time the group also changed its name to Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (the Al-Qaida Group in the Land of the Two Rivers, AQI). The group’s stated aim is the creation of a state in Iraq based on extremist ideology.

Following Al-Zarqawi’s death in 2006, Abu Ayyub al-Masri assumed leadership of AQI until his own death in April 2010. The group continues to attack Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi Security Forces, and Iraqi governmental institutions. It has claimed many terrorist attacks inside Iraq including the high-profile attacks in Baghdad in August, October and December 2009, which, combined, killed over 480 people. The group also claimed responsibility for the 2005 attack on three hotels in Amman, Jordan, which killed at least 60 people.

Members of JTJ’s precursor cell operating in Germany include Djamel Moustfa (QDi.129).

Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QDe.137) a.k.a Jabhat al Nusrah emerged publicly on 24 January 2012. The group was created by members of Al-Qaida in Iraq including, in particular, Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Al-Badri Al Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (QDi.299). It operates in Syria where it has carried out a number of terrorist attacks. The leader of Jabhat al Nusrah is Al-Fatih Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani (QDi.317).The group was part of Al Qaida in Iraq and was listed between 30 May 2013 and 13 May 2014 as an alias of Al-Qaida in Iraq.