Osbat al-Ansar

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League of the Partisans
عصبة الأنصار
Osbat al-Ansar
Major actions 1994–2007
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
Active region(s) Lebanon
Ideology Salafism
Jihadism
Sunni Islamism
Assassinations, Bombings
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.[1][2] The organization is largely based in Ain al-Hilweh.[1]

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.[2][3] 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.[1]

Osbat al-Ansar is also connected with fundamentalist groups Osbat al-Nour, Jund Ash Sham, the Dinniyeh Group and Takfir wal Hijra.[1] 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.[1] Osbat al-Ansar is estimated to have between 100 and 200 members, mostly Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians living in Ain al-Hilweh.[1]

Ideology[edit]

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".[4][5]

The group professes the Salafi form of Islam.[1][2]

Activities[edit]

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.[6]

Other actions by Osbat al-Ansar[edit]

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".[7]

Prevented attacks[edit]

In 2001 Daniel Ahmad Samarji, and Bilal Ali Othman, were arrested in the northern city of Tripoli for planning terrorist acts, illegal dealing in weapons of war and discharging firearms.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]