Jihad Intel: Vital Intelligence on Designated Islamic Terrorist Organizations

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Database: Identifiers of Designated Islamic Terrorist Organizations

Kata'ib al-Aqila Zainab

Not yet designated terrorist by a Western country
Base of operations: Iraq, (Syria?)

Kata'ib al-Aqila Zainab (Al-Aqila Zainab Battalions) is a Shi'a militia in Iraq, named after Sayyida Zainab. Ideologically, the militia identifies with Iran and its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i. Led by one Aamer al-Mousawi, it participated in the 2015 Quds Day parades (an event devised by Iran after the establishment of the Islamic Republic) in Karbala'.

The group's main base is in Babil province to the south of Baghdad but it also has offices elsewhere such as in Basra. A known area of operation within Iraq has been the al-Rafi' area to the west of Karbala'. In July 2015, the militia included advertisement for recruitment to fight in Syria- whether the fighters went in the name of their own militia or other Iraqi Shi'a formations active in Syria is unclear.

The group promotes anti-American discourse, accusing U.S. aircraft of targeting Iraqi government forces and preventing Iraqi aircraft from targeting IS positions.

Kata'ib al-Aqila Zainab Car
Kata'ib al-Aqila Zainab Emblem
Kata'ib al-Aqila Zainab Poster

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