|League of the Partisans
|Leader(s)||Hisham Shreidi (1986-1991)
Ahmed Abd al-Karim al-Saadi (1991-1999)
Abu Tarek al-Saadi (1999-present)
|Motives||The creation of an Islamic state in Lebanon|
|Status||Designated as a Terrorist Organization by Australia, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations|
Osbat al-Ansar or Asbat an-Ansar (Arabic: عصبة الأنصار, meaning League of the Partisans) is a Lebanon-based Sunni fundamentalist group established in the early 1990s which professes the Salafi form of Islam and the overthrow of the Lebanese-dominated secular government. The organization is largely based in Ain al-Hilweh.
Osbat al-Ansar is on the United States' list of terrorist organizations for alleged connections with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, and the American administration decided to freeze all assets of Osbat al-Ansar following the attacks on September 11th, 2001. The group has reportedly received funding from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and has been proscribed as a terrorist group by Australia, the United Nations, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Osbat al-Ansar is also connected with fundamentalist groups Osbat al-Nour, Jund Ash Sham, the Dinniyeh Group and Takfir wal Hijra. Ahmed Abd al-Karim al-Saadi is the ostensible leader of the group; however, since he went into hiding in 1999, the group has been led by his brother Abu Tarek al-Saadi. Osbat al-Ansar is estimated to have between 100 and 200 members, mostly Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians living in Ain al-Hilweh.
According to the Australian Government and the Canadian Government the goal of Osbat al-Ansar is "the establishment of a radical Sunni Islamic state in Lebanon." as well as "Overthrowing the Lebanese government and preventing what they perceive as anti-Sunni Islamic influences in Lebanon".
Asbat al-Ansar first emerged in the early 1990s. In the mid-1990s, the group assassinated Lebanese religious leaders and bombed nightclubs, theaters, and liquor stores. The group has also plotted against foreign diplomatic targets. In October 2004, Mahir al-Sa’di, a member of Asbat al-Ansar, was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his 2000 plot to assassinate then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Satterfield. Asbat al-Ansar has no formal ties to the AQ network, but the group shares AQ’s ideology and has publicly proclaimed its support for al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Members of the group have traveled to Iraq since 2005 to fight Coalition Forces. Asbat al-Ansar has been reluctant to involve itself in operations in Lebanon due in part to concerns over losing its safe haven in the Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp. AAA did not stage any known attacks in 2012.
Other actions by Osbat al-Ansar
In 2002 a representative of Osbat al-Ansar handed over Badieh Hamadeh, a shiite living in Ain al-Hilweh suspected of killing three Lebanese soldiers, to Lebanese authorities. A spokesman for Osbat al-Ansar stated that the decision to make the hand over was to "spare the camp any bloodshed".
- Federal Executive Council on 7 April 2005
- The Jamestown Foundation
- 7 April 2005 - Government relists six terrorist organisations - 057/2005
- Currently listed entities
- Foreign Terrorist Organizations, Chapter 6; 2012, U.S. State Department, Country Reports on Terrorism
- BBC NEWS | Middle East | Handover ends Lebanon stand-off
- 'Jordan has been at war against Ben Laden for decade'