Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)

Also known as (aka) Abdullah Azzam Brigades; Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Yusuf al-‘Uyayri Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigade

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 30, 2012, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB) formally announced its establishment in a July 2009 video statement claiming responsibility for a February 2009 rocket attack against Israel.  The Lebanon-based group’s full name is Ziyad al‑Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, named after Lebanese citizen Ziad al Jarrah, one of the planners of and participants in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Activities:  After its initial formation, AAB relied primarily on rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.  It is responsible for numerous rockets fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon, often targeting population centers.

In 2013, AAB began targeting Hizballah for the organization’s involvement in the Syrian conflict and support for Syrian regime forces.  In November 2013, AAB claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 23 people and wounded more than 140.  In February 2014, AAB claimed twin suicide bomb attacks against the Iranian cultural center in Beirut that killed four people.  In June 2014, AAB was blamed for a suicide bombing in the Beirut neighborhood of Tayyouneh, which killed a security officer and wounded 25 people.

In June 2015, the group released photos of a training camp for its “Marwan Hadid Brigade” camp in Syria, likely located in Homs province.  From 2016 – 2018, AAB continued its involvement in the Syrian conflict and was active in Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp.

In December 2017, AAB called for violent jihad by Muslims against the United States and Israel after the U.S. announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  AAB did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2018 or 2019, but announced its full dissolution in Syria in November 2019.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.