Osbat al-Ansar

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League of the Partisans
عصبة الأنصار
Osbat al-Ansar
Leader(s) Hisham Shreidi (1986-1991)
Ahmed Abd al-Karim al-Saadi (1991-1999)
Abu Tarek al-Saadi (1999-present)
Dates of operation 1994–present
Motives The creation of an Islamic state in Lebanon
Active region(s) Lebanon
Ideology Salafism
Jihadism
Sunni Islamism
Major actions Assassinations, Bombings
Status Designated as a terrorist group 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 Sunni fundamentalist group established in the early 1990s, with a primary base of operations in the Palestinian camp of Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp near Sidon,[1] which claims professing the Salafi form of Islam and the overthrow of the Lebanese-dominated secular government.[1][2]

It has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations, Canada, Russia, the UAE, the United Kingdom[3] and the United States. It 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][4] The group has reportedly received funding from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.[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 less than 2000 members, mostly Lebanese, with a primary base of operations in the Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp near Sidon in southern Lebanon.[5]

Ideology[edit]

According to the Australian Government and the Canadian Government the goal of Osbat al-Ansar is "the establishment of a radical Islamic state in Lebanon." as well as "Overthrowing the Lebanese government and preventing what they perceive as anti-Sunni Islamic influences in Lebanon".[6][7]

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

Support[edit]

According to Seymour Hersh, Osbat el-Ansar has received arms and supplies from Lebanese internal-security forces and militias associated with the Siniora government.[8]

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.[9]

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".[10]

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.[11]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]