GROUPS & ORGANIZATIONS

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Al Badr Corp / Militia A Pro-Iranian Iraqi Shi’ite political party and militia headed by Hadi al-Amiri

Al-Qaeda “The Base” or “The Foundation.” Al-Qaeda is a Salafi-jihadi organization formed by Osama Bin Laden and Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam in the late 1980s.

Al-Quds Force Created in the 1990s, an elite unit and the spearhead of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (the IRGC). The IRG reports directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader. The al-Quds force is responsible for external operations outside of Iran. Their mission is to export the Islamic Revolution, spread the Twelver Shi’ite orthodoxy, and ensure Iran is the region’s leading superpower. Their primary task is to design and spearhead a strategy to achieve that mission, the cornerstone of which is constructing and operating a network of armed proxies and agents in various parts of the Middle East and beyond. As Iran’s primary arm to support and guide Iran’s nonstate partners, the al-Quds force arms, equips, funds, and trains the regime’s armies of terror. Since the US killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the Al-Quds Force has been under the command of Major General Ismail Qa’ani. The al-Quds force is designated a supporter of terror by the US government.

Basij Forces “The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed.” Created in April 1980, it is a paramilitary volunteer militia. It is an intimidating and far-reaching organization primarily charged to maintain order, suppress dissent, and protect the regime.

Boko Haram “West is Forbidden.” A jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger, and northern Cameroon

Fath The Palestine Liberation Movement. Established in 1957 in Kuwait by Yasser Arafat. Fath in Arabic means “a triumph.” The word Fath is also the reverse order of Harakat Tharir Filastin’s initials (The Movement for the Liberation of Palestine). They chose the word Fath instead of the initials HTF because HTF resembles the word HATF in Arabic, which means “a sudden death.” Fath is the backbone of the PLO and the P.A

Hamas Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia—the Islamic Resistance Movement. Hamas also is literally translated as a ‘religious enthusiasm.’ It is a Palestinian Islamist militant and political organization founded in the Gaza Strip in 1987. Hamas defines itself as a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Hamas’s vision is to eliminate the State of Israel in a violent struggle and establish a caliphate ruled by Islamic law in all areas of Israel. Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 after they launched a coup against the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Hamas is defined as a terrorist organization by many countries. Hamas is an example of an Iranian agent.

Hezbollah (Lebanese) Two words that mean “Party of God.” An armed military organization and political party in Lebanon. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) created Hezbollah in 1983. Hezbollah’s main political base is Lebanese Shi’ites. Hezbollah is Iran’s most vital and powerful proxy. Hezbollah has three ministers in the Lebanese Government and 13 members of parliament. Hezbollah is defined as a terrorist organization by many countries

Houthis A framework of Shi’ite tribes in northern Yemen, they make up about thirty-five percent of Yemen’s population. The Houthis are Zaidiyyah Shi’ites—the oldest branch of Shi’ism and the second largest group after the Twelvers. The Houthi movement was created in 1992 by Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi, a Shi’a scholar. The Houthis have a historical relationship with Iran. In September 2014, the Iranian-backed Houthi militias ousted the Yemenite Government and expanded their control to other parts of Yemen. Following the failure to solve the crisis peacefully, a Saudi-led military coalition forces fights against the Houthis since March 2015 to restore the ousted Yemeni government.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRG or IRGC) The IRGC was founded in 1979. Supreme Leader Khomeini created the IRG immediately after the Islamic Revolution and the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. An Iranian military force whose broad mission is to defend the Iranian Revolution from foreign or domestic threats. Their primary role is to protect the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution against internal and external threats. It is under the command of Iran’s Supreme Leader, who, since 1989, is Ali Khamenei. The commander of the IRGC is Major General Hossein Salami. The IRG has air, ground, and naval forces. It also has aerospace, unconventional warfare, and cyber divisions. It is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. The IRG has evolved 554 inside the middle east to be the wealthiest and most powerful entity in Iran and essentially controls Iran’s economy and foreign policy and wields significant influence over Iran’s domestic policy.

ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State ISIS began in 2006 as a militant Islamic militia of Sunni tribes in central Iraq. ISIS is an acronym for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or the “Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham.” For centuries, Ash-Sham is the Arabic name that referred to a geographic area of Mesopotamia—consisting of what is today Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In Arabic, ISIS is called Da’esh. The term “Da’esh” is made of the initials “Al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi(l) Iraq wal-Sham” (the Islamic State in Iraq and ash-Sham). In April 2013, ISIS became the branch of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They called themselves “Al-Qaeda in the Two River Countries.” The rivers are the Tigris and the Euphrates—a region historically known as Mesopotamia. In June 2014, ISIS declared its “Caliphate”—the Islamic State (I.S.). At its height, the Islamic State encompassed 30 percent of Syria and 40 percent of Iraq. In July 2014, the leader of ISIS—Ibrahim ‘Awad Ibrahim ‘Ali al-Badri al-Sameraai a.k.a. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—announced himself the Caliph Ibrahim. In the second half of 2017, the military pressure of the international coalition forces that joined together to fight the Islamic lexicon 555 State began to reverse some of ISIS’s gains. Throughout 2017, 2018, and 2019 ISIS suffered mounting casualties and lost strongholds. The Islamic State came to an end in 2019. The United States killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019. One of the most substantial ISIS branches globally is the “Islamic Emirate of Khorasan,” also known as ISIS- K ISIS’ branch in Central Asia.

Islamic Jihad Salafi Jihadi global organization. Islamic Jihad in Palestine (IJIP, also known as PIJ) IJIP, in Arabic, Harakat al-Jihād al-Islāmi fi Filastīn is a Palestinian Islamist militant organization. Established in the 1980s and supported by Iran. Considered as the second-largest military power in Gaza Strip (after Hamas). IJIP calls for the destruction of Israel in a violent struggle. IJIP military force called Saraya al-Quds—“The Jerusalem Companies.” IJIP is an example of an Iranian agent.

Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Hamas’s military wing. It is named after an Islamic preacher of Syrian origin killed in the 1930s during the Arab revolt against the British Mandate in Palestine/Land of Israel.

Kata’ib Hezbollah Iranian-backed Iraqi proxy militia closely affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Liwa Fatemiyoun A Shi’ite militia consisting of Afghans living in Iran. Iran created the militia in 2014 to fight in Syria to support Assad’s forces, keep him in power, and secure Iran’s presence in Syria. In return for their service, militants receive monthly wages and are entitled to Iranian citizenship for themselves and their families.

Liwa Zainebiyoun Zainebiyoun Brigade, an Iranian-backed Pakistani Shi’ite militia fighting in Syria. Iran created the militia in 2014 to fight in Syria to support Assad’s forces, keep him in power, and secure Iran’s presence in Syria. In return for their service, militants receive monthly wages and are entitled to Iranian citizenship for themselves and their families. The members are Shia Pakistanis living in Iran. Zaineb is one of two daughters of the fourth Caliph ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib, and Fatimah, Prophet Muhammad’s daughter. According to Islamic tradition, she is buried in Damascus.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Founded in 1929 in Egypt by Hassan al Bana. The MB adheres to the Political Islam school of thought and is the largest mass movement in the Sunni world. The MB is organized in a hierarchical structure. The Supreme Leader is called “the General Guide,” An advisory board assists him called the Shurah. MB’s slogan is “Islam is the Solution”Al-Islam hu al-hal in Arabic. The MB’s goal is to establish a global Islamic framework—a Caliphate—that will be ruled according to the Islamic Shariah law. The MB rejects the concept of “Nation States.” They argue that a nation state’s vision is rooted in Western culture and values that contradict Islam and Islamic law (the Shariah) and therefore defy Allah’s rule. The MB has chapters in every Muslim state in the world. The branches are hierarchically structured to reflect the global structure. The branches’ structure is like the worldwide structure and is designed to promote the movement’s ideology and values. However, each chapter has a certain degree of independence in its political position and political activities. Given that, one can indicate different—sometimes even opposing—positions of the branches regarding political issues. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring events, the movement reached its climax. The MB won elections and thus ruled Egypt and Tunisia. And it gained power in other Arab states. However, the short-lived success—most significantly, the MB governments in Egypt and Tunisia failed and were replaced. The failure resulted in a political and ideological crisis within the MB, leading to inner splits in some of its chapters. As a result of this crisis, the pragmatic (pragmatic does not mean moderate) wing of the movement gained strength in places like Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco at the expense of the more dogmatic wing.

OPEC—Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Founded in 1960. Its stated mission is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic, and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry. Its members are: Algeria, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

Popular Resistance Committees A Palestinian terrorist organization operating in the Gaza Strip. Supported mainly by Iran.

Radwan An Iranian-trained infantry elite Hezbollah ground force. In the Qur’an, Radwan is the name of the gatekeeper of heaven.

Saraya al-Quds “The Jerusalem Companies.” The military arm/wing of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine. Supported mainly by Iran and affiliated with Hezbollah.

Taliban Literally translated “students.” Formed by young Afghan mujahedeen. They ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2011. They regained control of Afghanistan in August 2021 when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan. They are a Sunni militant Islam organization that follow a combination of Hanafi and

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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