WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today targeted Iran-based individual Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iraq-based Shia extremist group Kata'ib Hizballah for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and the Government of Iraq. Al-Muhandis and Kata'ib Hizballah have committed, directed, supported, or posed a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces and as a result are designated today under Executive Order (E.O.) 13438, which targets insurgent and militia groups and their supporters.
"These designations play a critical role in our efforts to protect Coalition troops, Iraqi security forces, and civilians from those who use violence against innocents to intimidate and to undermine a free and prosperous Iraq," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is an advisor to Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Qods Force, the arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responsible for providing material support to Lebanon-based Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command. Further, the IRGC-Qods Force provides lethal support to Kata'ib Hizballah and other Iraqi Shia militia groups who target and kill Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. The IRGC-Qods Force was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the Treasury Department on October 25, 2007.
The U.S. Department of State also today designated Kata'ib Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and under section 1(b) of E.O. 13224 for committing or posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
Designations under E.O. 13438 and E.O. 13224 are administered by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control and prohibit all transactions between the designees and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
ABU MAHDI AL-MUHANDIS
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes
Abu Mehdi al-Mohandess
Abu Mahdi al-Madan
Abu Mahdi al-Basri al-Muhandis
Abu-Mahdi al-Mohandis al-Basri
Abu Mahdi al Baseri
Abu Mahdi al-Basari
Jamal Ja'far al-Ibrahimi
Jamal Ja'afar Muhammad Ali al-Ibrahimi
Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi
Jamal Fa'far 'Ali al-Ibrahimi
Jamal al-Madan al-Tamimi
Jamal Ja'afar Ibrahim al-Mikna Bihaj
Jamal Jaafar Mohammed
Jaafar Jamal Jaafar
Year of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Ma'ghal, Basrah, Iraq
Al Fardoussi Street, Tehran, Iran
Al Maaqal, al Basrah
Velayat Faqih Base, Kenesht Mountain Pass Northwest of Kermanshah, Iran
As of early 2007, al-Muhandis formed a Shia militia group employing instructors from Hizballah to prepare this group and certain Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) Special Groups for attacks against Coalition Forces. The groups received training in guerilla warfare, handling bombs and explosives, and employing weapons--to include missiles, mortars, and sniper rifles. In another instance as of September 2007, al-Muhandis led networks that moved ammunition and weapons--to include explosively formed penetrators (EFPs)--from Iran to Iraq, distributing them to certain JAM militias to target Coalition Forces. As of mid-February 2007, al-Muhandis also ran a weapons smuggling network that moved sniper rifles through the Iran-Iraq border to Shia militias that targeted Coalition Forces.
Al-Muhandis also provided logistical support for attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces conducted by JAM Special Groups and certain Shia militias. In one instance, in April 2008, al-Muhandis facilitated the entry of trucks--containing mortars, Katyusha rockets, EFPs, and other explosive devices--from Iran to Iraq that were then delivered to JAM Special Groups in Sadr City, Baghdad. Additionally, al-Muhandis organized numerous weapons shipments to supply JAM Special Groups who were fighting Iraqi Security Forces in the Basrah and Maysan provinces during late March-early April 2008.
In addition to facilitating weapons shipments to JAM Special Groups and certain Shia militias, al-Muhandis facilitated the movement and training of Iraq-based Shia militia members to prepare them to attack Coalition Forces. In one instance in November 2007, al-Muhandis sent JAM Special Groups members to Iran to undergo a training course in using sniper rifles. Upon completion of the training course, the JAM Special Groups members had planned to return to Iraq and carry out special operations against Coalition Forces. Additionally, in early March 2007, al-Muhandis sent certain Shia militia members to Iran for training in guerilla warfare, light arms, marksmanship, improvised explosive devices (IED) and anti-aircraft missiles to increase the combat ability of the militias to fight Coalition Forces.
In addition to the reasons for which he is being designated today, al-Muhandis participated in the bombing of Western embassies in Kuwait and the attempted assassination of the Emir of Kuwait in the early 1980s. Al-Muhandis was subsequently convicted in absentia by the Kuwaiti government for his role in the bombing and attempted assassination.
Hizballah Brigades in Iraq
Hizballah Brigades-Iraq of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq
Islamic Resistance in Iraq
Katibat Abu Fathel Al A'abas
Katibat Zayd Ebin Ali
Kata'ib Hizballah fi al-Iraq
Between March 2007 and June 2008, Baghdad-based Kata'ib Hizballah cell members participated in multiple rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and improvised rocket-assisted mortar (IRAM) attacks against U.S. forces. These attacks included a May 13, 2008 RPG-29 attack on a U.S. tank located in Sha'ab, Iraq, and a February 19, 2008 IRAM attack on a U.S. base near Rustamiya, Iraq. A February 19, 2008 rocket attack in the Rustamiya area resulted in one U.S. civilian killed and injuries to U.S. civilian and Coalition Forces personnel.
As of 2008, Kata'ib Hizballah was funded by the IRGC-Qods Force and received weapons training and support from Lebanon-based Hizballah. In one instance, Hizballah provided training--to include building and planting IEDs and training in coordinating small and medium arms attacks, sniper attacks, mortar attacks, and rocket attacks--to Kata'ib Hizballah members in Iran.
Recordings made by Kata'ib Hizballah for release to the public as propaganda videos further demonstrate that Kata'ib Hizballah conducted attacks against Coalition Forces. In mid-August 2008, Coalition Forces seized four hard drives from a storage facility associated with a Kata'ib Hizballah media facilitator. The four hard drives included approximately 1,200 videos showing Kata'ib Hizballah's sophisticated planning and attack tactics, techniques, and procedures, and Kata'ib Hizballah's use of the most lethal weapons--including RPG-29s, IRAMs, and EFPs--against Coalition Forces in Iraq.
One of the hard drives contained 35 attack videos edited with the Kata'ib Hizballah logo in the top right corner. Additionally, between February and September 2008, Al-Manar in Beirut, Lebanon, broadcast several videos showing Kata'ib Hizballah conducting multiple attacks against Coalition Forces in Iraq.
Immediately preceding the Government of Iraq's approval of the United States-Iraq security agreement in late November 2008, Kata'ib Hizballah posted a statement that the group would continue fighting Coalition Forces and threatened to conduct attacks against the Government of Iraq if it signed the security agreement with the United States.