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al-Qaeda in the Kurdish Battalions (AQKB) is a militant Islamist organization, primarily active in the northern Iran–Iraq border. It is the Kurdish branch of al-Qaeda that has launched several attacks on the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq. The group was classified as a terrorist organization by the US State Department on January 1, 2012.[4]

al-Qaeda Kurdish Battalions
(Arabic: تنظيم القاعدة الكتائب الكردية‎)
Participant in the Iraq War and
the Global War on Terrorism
Flag of Jihad.svg
The Shahada flag commonly used by al-Qaeda.
ActiveMarch 2007–present[1]
LeadersDilshad Kalari (Unknown to Unknown): Very little is known about Kalari although some sources believe him to be the operational leader of AQKB. Abdullah Hassan al-Surani (2007 to Unknown): Surani has released public statements of behalf of AQKB and is believed to be the group’s official spokesman.[3]
Part ofFlag of Jihad.svg al-Qaeda
Opponent(s)State Opponents

Non-State Opponents


AQKB was founded in 2007, after the apparent disbandment of Ansar al-Islam, another al-Qaeda-affiliated group. The group is considered to be relatively small, but it has camps in the Iranian towns of Mariwan and Sanandaj.[5]


The group has launched several attacks, including its largest one being against KRG's Ministry of Interior in Erbil that killed 19 people in May 2007.[5] AQKB killed 7 border guards and one PUK security officer in Penjwan in July 2007. In September 2010, two police officers were hurt by a failed suicide attack in Sulaymaniyah.[6]


  1. ^ Mapping Militant Organizations, Al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions
  2. ^ Hudson, Valerie. The Hillary Doctrine. Columbia University. p. 154. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  3. ^ Mapping Militant Organizations, Al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions
  4. ^ "Terrorist Designation of the al-Qaida Kurdish Battalions". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Rudaw in English The Happening: Latest News and Multimedia about Kurdistan, Iraq and the World - US Designates Kurdish Group Terrorists". 15 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions". Stanford - CISAC. Retrieved 13 June 2019.