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U.S. Designates Kurdish Batallions


U.S. Designates Kurdish Batallions

The al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions, or AQKB, is a terrorist organization primarily active in the northern Iran-Iraq border areas.

From time to time, the United States identifies certain groups as terrorist organizations. These are mostly active militant groups that do not shrink from committing violent acts against others, including civilian populations, or they are involved in providing support for other terrorist organizations. In all cases, these are people or groups that have committed, or are deemed to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.

When such a group is identified, the U.S. Government places that group's name on the Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entities List. Its assets within U.S. reach are immediately frozen, and the entity is locked out of the global financial network. No U.S. citizen or company may conduct business with a designated individual or group. In this way, the United States disrupts financial support networks for terrorists and terrorist organizations.

The al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions, or AQKB, is a terrorist organization primarily active in the northern Iran-Iraq border areas. According to the U.S. Department of State, it was formed in 2007 from the remnants of other Kurdish terrorist organizations, and has publically pledged its allegiance to other terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq.

The AQKB is comprised of former elements of Ansar al Islam, and other Kurdish extremist groups loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq's political front. The AQKB sees the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government as traitors. The group has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Kurdish targets in Iraq.

As a result of a May 2007 attack in Erbil, Iraq, when a vehicle loaded with explosives struck the Kurdish Ministries of the Interior and Security, 19 people died.

In July 2007, AQKB killed seven border guards and one Patriotic Union of Kurdistan security force member in an ambush in Penjwan, Iraq. And in September 2010, two police officers were injured during an unsuccessful AQKB suicide bomb attack targeting security officers in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.

The al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions extremist group has demonstrated its commitment to violence. This designation is intended to disrupt its ability to carry out its deadly agendas or to support other terrorist groups with which it collaborates.

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