The Abdullah Azzam Brigades; the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam; the Brigades of the Martyr Abdullah Azzam; the Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions; the Ziad al-Jarrah Battalion; the Yusuf al-‘Uyayri Battalions; the Yusuf al-Ayiri Battalion; the Battalion of Sheikh Yusuf al-‘Ayiri; and the Marwan Hadid Brigades.
Syria, Lebanon, and the Arabian Peninsula
Saleh Al-Qari Awi
AAB has four main branches:
(I) Lebanese Branch: called Ziyad al Jarrah Battalion and is named after 9/11 hijacker Ziyad al Jarrah who participated in the hijacking and crash of United Flight 93.
(II) Gaza Branch: Marwan Haddad division of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in the Levant.
(III) Arabian Peninsula Branch: Yusuf al-’Uyayri Battalions
(IV) Media Branch: Al-Awzaey Media Foundation
AAB began operating in Pakistan in 2009 as an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in Iraq under the leadership of Saleh Al-Qaraawi. It was named after Abdullah Azzam who was one of the first Arabs to volunteer to join the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. It was formed for the purpose of hitting targets in the Levant and throughout the Middle East. AAB was added to the Canadian Criminal Code list of terrorist entities on June 29, 2015.
AAB has roots in Salafist ideology, which has emerged as a framework from which many draw inspiration and is regarded as the correct or authentic Islam.
Over the past three years, AAB has called for an uprising in Lebanon, demanding that the Lebanese government free imprisoned jihadists. As well, it has advocated for the overthrow of the Saudi government and supported Syrian protestors. Finally, AAB has threated attacks on Western targets in the Middle East.
AAB relies primarily on rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and suicide bombings. The group has increased the pace and severity of attacks with the onset of the Syrian insurgency. For example, In November 2013, AAB claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. This attack killed 23 people and wounded over 140.
Updated November 12, 2015