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Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi, known by the kunya Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, is an Iraqi-Iranian military commander who heads the Popular Mobilisation Committee (Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi), which is active against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group. The organisations he oversees are reported to have close connections to the Quds Force, part of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
أبو مهدي المهندس
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes & Qasem Soleimani01.jpg
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (right) with Qasem Soleimani at the ceremony commemorating the father of Soleimani in Mosalla of Tehran
Deputy Chairman of Popular Mobilization Committee
Personal details
Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi

Al Maqal, Basra Governorate, Iraq
NationalityIraq, Iran
Political partyIslamic Dawa Party
Military service
Allegiance Iran
Branch/service Popular Mobilization Forces

He is the commander of the Kata'ib Hezbollah militia, and prior to that worked with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards against Saddam Hussein's regime.[1]

Allegations of terrorism have been levelled against him[2] over his activities in Kuwait in the 1980s.[3] He was sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Kuwait for his involvement in 1983 Kuwait bombings.[4] Muhandis is on the United States' list of designated terrorists.[5]


Jamal Jafaar al-Ibrahimi was born in 1954 in Basra, Iraq, to an Iraqi father and an Iranian mother.[3] He finished his studies in engineering in 1977 and in the same year joined the Shia-based Dawa Party, which opposed the Ba'athist government. After the activity of the Dawa Party was banned by Saddam Hussein, Jamal fled, in 1979, across the border to Ahvaz in Iran, where the Iranians had set up a camp to train Iraqi dissidents, with the aim of undermining Saddam.[4] He began working with Iran's Revolutionary Guard in Kuwait in 1983, organizing attacks on embassies of countries that supported Saddam in the Iran–Iraq War.[1] Hours after the December 1983 bomb attacks on U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait, he fled to Iran.[3] He was later convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Kuwait for planning the attacks.[4] He settled in Iran, married an Iranian woman, and became an Iranian citizen. He was later appointed a military adviser to the Quds Force, advising on attacks against Iraqi military based in his hometown of Basra.[3]

He returned to Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and served as a security adviser to the first Iraqi prime minister after the invasion, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.[4] In 2005 he was elected to the Iraqi Parliament as a Dawa Party representative for the Babil Governorate.[3] When U.S. officials realised his identity and connection with the 1983 attacks, they raised the issue with then-Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2006 or 2007.[4] After this Jamal fled to Iran. He returned to Iraq after the withdrawal of US troops and became head of the Kata'ib Hezbollah militia,[1] and then deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Dehghanpisheh, Babak (12 November 2014). "Special Report: The fighters of Iraq who answer to Iran". Reuters.
  2. ^ "Iraqi Army still ineffective despite U.S. training". Newsweek. Reuters. 4 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Othman al-Mukhtar (4 January 2015). "Fugitive from international justice now militia leader in Iraq". al-Araby al-Jadeed English.
  4. ^ a b c d e Glanz, James; Santora, Marc (7 February 2007). "Iraqi lawmaker was convicted in 1983 bombings in Kuwait that killed 5". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  5. ^ Lawrence, John (26 May 2015). "Iraq Situation Report: May 23–25, 2015". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 27 May 2015. See paragraph 5 of the report.
  6. ^ "ساختار حشد شعبی عراق؛ تشکل نظامی مردمی" (in Persian). Tasnim News Agency. July 12, 2015.