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Al-Ashtar Brigades

The al-Ashtar Brigades (Saraya al-Ashtar, named after Malik al-Ashtar[2]) is a Shiite militant group in Bahrain designated as a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States.[2]

Al-Ashtar Brigades
سرايا الأشتر
Participant in the Shia insurgency in Bahrain
Area of operationsBahrain
Allies Iran (claimed by Bahraini gov.)
 Hezbollah (claimed by Bahraini gov.)
Opponent(s) Bahrain

Terrorist designationEdit

Country Date Ref
  United Kingdom 22 December 2014 [3]

In June 2017, the al-Ashtar Brigades were designated as terrorist organizations by Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.[2] The United States Department of State has designated the group as a terrorist organization, as of July 2018.[2][4]


The al-Ashtar Brigades has stated that it is loyal to the government of Iran, and has adopted branding consistent with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.[5]


The group has reportedly claimed responsibility for over 20 attacks in Bahrain, primarily targeting police and security forces.[2]

The group was designated a terrorist organization by Bahrain following a bombing in Al Daih, which killed three policemen.[6]


  1. ^«سرايا-الأشتر»-البحرينية-من-رحم-المرجعية-الشيرازية-للتصنيف-إرهابيا[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Naar, Ismaeel (June 9, 2017). "Who are the al-Ashtar Brigades, latest Arab-designated 'terrorist group'?". Al Arabiya.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "State Department Terrorist Designation of al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)". U.S. State Department. 10 July 2018.
  5. ^ Wess, Caleb (February 23, 2018). "Bahraini militant group adopts IRGC branding". At the same time, Saraya al Ashtar reaffirmed its loyalty to the Islamic Republic of Iran. “We believe that the commander and ruler of the Islamic religion is the line of the two imams, Khomeini and Khamenei, which is in the original Muhammad approach in confronting the oppressors and fighting back against the tyrants,” the group’s statement reads.
  6. ^ Saeed, Farishta; Bayoumy, Yara. Aboudi, Sami; Lyon, Alistair (eds.). "Bahrain puts groups on terrorism list after bomb kills three police".