Terrorism Profiles

Soldiers of Al Aqsa

By January 15, 2016 No Comments

Alternative Names:

Jund al-Aqsa, Soldiers of Aqsa, Sarayat al-Quds (predecessor)

Location:

Syria (Idlib and Hama governorates)

Leadership:

Soldiers of al-Aqsa was founded as a foreign fighter battalion by Abu Abul Aziz al-Qatari.

Membership:

In 2015, Soldiers of al-Aqsa is most comprised of Syrian fighters. The group is part of the Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance.

Origins: 

Soldiers of al-Aqsa was founded as a subunit of the Al-Nusra Front, which is a Sunni Islamist militia combatting Syrian military forces in the Syrian Civil War.

Major Attacks:

February 2014: Soldiers of al-Aqsa supported Ahrar al-Sham of the Islamic Front in the offensive at the village of Ma’an (Hama), which resulted in the massacre of local Alawite Shiites.

July 2014: Soldiers of al-Aqsa supported the Islamic Front in their operation to seize Hama military airport.

 Objectives:

 Soldiers of al-Aqsa seeks to overthrow the Syrian government and establish an Islamic state in Syria under Sharia law.

Ideological Roots:

Soldiers of al-Aqsa traces its ideological roots to a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam and Salafi jihadism, which seeks to achieve political objectives through violence and terrorism.

Tactics:

Firearm attacks, improvised explosive devices, suicide bombing, kidnapping, and mortar and rocket attacks.

Updated on January 15, 2016. 

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