The Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development

The Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development, formerly known as the Badr Brigade, is a Shiite militant organization that operates in Iraq and Syria.

AT A GLANCE

Overview

Brief Summary of the Organization's History

Organization

How does a group organize? Who leads it? How does it finance operations?

Strategy

How does a group fight? What are its aims and ideologies? What are some of its major attacks?

Major Attacks

What are the group's most famous attacks? What are some key attacks in the group's evolution?

Interactions

What is the group's relationship with the community? How does it interact with other groups?

Maps

What is the group's relationship with other militants over time?

Key Statistics

1983 First Recorded Activity
1983 First Attack
2018 Last Recorded Activity

Contact

Send a message to the Mapping Militants team.

How to Cite

Mapping Militant Organizations. "The Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development." Stanford University. Last modified March 2019. https://cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/mappingmilitants/profiles/badr-organization

Overview

Brief History

    Overview
  • Overview
  • Narrative

Overview

 

Formed1983
DisbandedGroup is active.
First Attack1983-1988: The Badr Organization fought alongside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the Iran-Iraq War. They served on the frontline and led attacks against Iraqi government officials in southern Iraq. (unknown killed, unknown wounded)


 

Last AttackAugust 2017: The Badr Organization and other Shiite militias affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces(PMFs) participated in the Iraqi army’s capture of Tal Afar from ISIS. (unknown killed, unknown wounded)


 

UpdatedMarch 2019

The Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development, formerly known as the Badr Brigade, is a Shiite militant organization that operates in Iraq and Syria. The Badr Organization advocates for the creation of a separate Shiite region in Southern Iraq and is closely allied with Iran, receiving funding and support from the nation. The Badr Organization was founded as the militia wing of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), a Shiite political party formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI). In 2012, the Badr Organization broke away from the ISCI to maintain ties with Iran after the ISCI attempted to disassociate from the nation. 

Narrative

The Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development, formerly known as the Badr Brigade, formed in 1983 as the armed wing of the largest Shiite political party in Iraq, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).[i]The Badr Organization is considered “Iran’s oldest proxy in Iraq” because of its close and lasting ties to Tehran.[ii]The organization’s founder, Hadi al-Amiri, remains the leader of group today.[iii]

From 1983-2003, the exiled SCIRI operated from Iran against the Saddam Regime in Iraq. During this time, the organization received direct support from Iran, including funding and training from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.[iv]During the Iran-Iraq War from 1980-1988, the Badr Brigade was composed mainly of Shiite defectors from the Iraqi Army and former Iraqi soldiers. The group coordinated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to fight against Iraq.[v]In the 1990s American officials maintained contact with the SCIRI because of the SCIRI’s broad support in the Shiite community. The American government even offered the SCIRI funding in 1998; however, the group refused because they objected to the Clinton administration’s policy of isolating Iran and Iraq. During this period of exile in Iran, the Badr Brigade strove to transition from a guerilla force to a conventional army. Though it possessed heavy machinery and weapons, the Badr Brigade was easily crushed by the Iraqi army during the 1991 Shiite uprising.[vi]

Afterthe fall of Saddam Hussein and the American occupation in 2003, the Badr Brigade returned to Iraq. American military officialsdemanded that the SCIRI disband the Badr Brigade; instead, the SCIRI changed the name of the group to the Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development to appear less militant.[vii]  Despite pledges to disarm, the Badr Organization continued to engage in violence, fighting against the Mahdi Army and British coalition troops in southern Iraq. The Badr Organization has additionally been accused of torturing and kidnapping Sunni Arabs and murdering Sunni clerics, but it has denied these accusations.[viii]The group also started to advocate for the creation of a Shiite state in the oil-rich regions of  southern Iraq, with  Basra as the capital.[ix]

In 2007, the SCIRI renamed itself the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) in an attempt to disassociate itself from Tehran. To preserve ties with Iran, the Badr Organization split from the ISCI in 2012 to form is own political and military unit.[x]The leader of the Badr Organization, al-Amiri, became both the political and military leader of the group after the split.[xi]Subsequently, the Badr Organization became a serious political force in Iraq.Under former Prime Minister al-Maliki, al-Amiri served as the Minister of Transportation; in October 2014, Mohammed Ghabban, another leader of the Badr Organization, was appointed Iraq’s Interior Minister.[xii]The Badr Organization also held 22 seats in Iraq’s parliament in November 2014.[xiii]  

With the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in 2013, the Badr Organization maintained a strong military presence in Iraq. It chose to ally with both Iraqi and Iranian forces in order to halt the advances of IS. In 2013, al-Amiri led the organization to fight IS alongside other Shiite militias, leading the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMFs). The Badr Organization proved indispensable after the fall of Mosul, racking up a series of victories against the Islamic State in the Diyala Province.[xiv]During the battle for Tikrit in 2015, it was reported that al-Amiri led Iraqi troops alongside Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.[xv]

In 2016, the BadrOrganization assisted the Iraqi army in several major offensives, however it was an unreliable ally as it often superseded the wishes of the Iraqi government. In May of 2016, the group played a pivotal but controversial role in the offensive on Fallujah. In the Fallujah operation, the Badr Organization successfully encircled the city.[xvi]This was the first major event in a series of military engagements where the Badr Organization provided valuable tactical assistance to the Iraqi army while at the same time subverting directives from the Prime Minister’s office using its connections with the military police to enter the city and maintain a presence in the suburbs.[xvii]In June, the Badr Organization continued to make use of its connections with the Iraqi police, and took a convoy to convene with one of its commanders who also was member of the Federal Police. This linkage was facilitated by the group’s control of the interior ministry.[xviii]Following these incursions, the Badr Organization started to open offices in Fallujah in order to recruit members and maintain a stronghold for the group.[xix]The group was also accused of killing civilians during the course of the Fallujah operation, demonstrating further misconduct during this period of time.[xx]

The Badr Organization continued to draw on its connections with the Iraqi Federal Police to pursue its own interests during the Mosul offensive in late 2016 and early 2017. Officially, the Iraqi Security Forces kept the Badr Organization out of the city in order to reassure the Sunni populations. Though the group and the other PMFs were directed to take up positions on the West of the city, the Badr Organization leveraged its ties within the Federal Police to enter different parts of the city.[xxi]Many fighters simply changed uniforms from military camouflage to police blue to gain entrance to Mosul.[xxii]The group also later set up offices and checkpoints in Mosul in partnership with some tribal Sunni forces.[xxiii]In addition to its dubious efforts to gain entrance into the city, the Badr Organization was also accused of partaking in abuses against Mosul residents alongside other PMFs.[xxiv]In Tal Afar, the Badr Organization engaged in similar conduct. The group set up checkpoints and offices, as well committed several reported abuses.[xxv]

As of 2016, Badr Organization members, Faleh Sari Abdashi Akkab and Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji held parliament seats.[xxvi]In 2018, the Badr Organization created the Fatah coalition, also known as the Fatah Alliance, a political partnership prominently featuring several PMFs.[xxvii]As of November 2018, Al-Amiri was the leader of this coalition.[xxviii]The Fatah alliance sought to gain seats in parliament in order to influence who the next Iraqi PM would be; however, the Badr Organization still operated independently and attempted to gain seats for its own members.[xxix]In the May 2018 election, out of the 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament, Fatah won the second most at 47 seats, behind Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon alliance (who won 54 seats).[xxx]The Sairoon alliance and Fatah were able to form a coalition,[xxxi]which former Iraqi PM Abadi soon joined.[xxxii]  This three-way coalition has 143 seats, still short of the 165 seats required for a ruling bloc. The ruling bloc maintains the right to nominate the prime minister and shape the government.[xxxiii]In December of 2018, many ministry positions were still unfilled, and Iraq entered 2019 in a state of political deadlock.[xxxiv]As of March 2019, Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji is the current Iraqi Minister of the Interior.[xxxv

As of February 2019, there have been no major recent military or political actions by the Badr Organization.



[i]Beehner, Lionel. "Iraq’s Militia Groups." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 26 Oct. 2006. Web. 29 May 2015. 

[ii]Babak Dehghanpisheh, “Special Report: The fighters of Iraq who answer to Iran,” Reuters, November 12, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/12/us-mideast-crisis-militias-spe...

[iii]"Iran's Militias Are Taking Over Iraq's Army." BloombergView.com. Web. 28 July 2015.

[iv]"Iran Focus." Iran Focus. N.p., 16 Nov. 2005. Web. 27 Aug. 2012. <http://www.iranfocus.com/en/?option=com_content>.; Beehner, Lionel. "Iraq’s Militia Groups." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 26 Oct. 2006. Web. 29 May 2015.

[v]Susannah George, “Breaking Badr,” Foreign Policy, November 6, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/06/breaking-badr/; Beehner, Lionel. "Iraq’s Militia Groups." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 26 Oct. 2006. Web. 29 May 2015.

[vi]Mahan Abedin, “Dossier: The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI),” Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, 5 (October 2003)

[vii]"Military." Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) / Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Global Security, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/sciri.htm>.

[viii]Beehner, Lionel. "Council on Foreign Relations." Council on Foreign Relations. N.p., 30 Nov. 2005. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.cfr.org/iraq/shiite-militias-iraqs-security-forces/p9316>.

[ix]"Fact Sheet on Iraq’s Major Shi’a Political Parties and Militia Groups April 2008." Institute for the Study of War. April 2008. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Fact Sheet on Iraq's Major Shia Political Parties and Militia Groups.pdf.

[x]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>. 

[xi]"Badr Organization." Terrorismcom. 26 Apr. 2014. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.terrorism.com/2014/04/26/badr-organization>.

[xii]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>. 

[xiii]"Iran News Site Profiles Head of Iraq's Badr Organization - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East."Al-Monitor. 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.; "The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>.

[xiv]Susannah George, “Breaking Badr,” Foreign Policy, November 6, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/06/breaking-badr/

[xv]"Iraqi Forces Try to Seal off Islamic State around Tikrit." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/03/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN....

[xvi]Gulmohamad, Zana. "Unseating the Caliphate: Contrasting the Challenges of Liberating Fallujah and Mosul." CTC Sentinel 9, no. 10 (October 2016). October 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://ctc.usma.edu/unseating-the-caliphate-contrasting-the-challenges-....

[xvii]Gulmohamad, Zana. "Unseating the Caliphate: Contrasting the Challenges of Liberating Fallujah and Mosul." CTC Sentinel 9, no. 10 (October 2016). October 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://ctc.usma.edu/unseating-the-caliphate-contrasting-the-challenges-....

[xviii]Bodetti, Austin. "Fallujah: The Iraq Victory That Could Lose the War." The Daily Beast, June 12, 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/fallujah-the-iraq-victory-that-could-lose-the-war.; Kalin, Stephen, and Ahmed Rasheed. "Falluja Abuses Hard to Prevent, Not Systematic: Iraqi Minister." Reuters, June 15, 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-minister-idUSKCN0Z11HA.; Filkins, Dexter. "The Dangers of the Iraqi Coalition Headed Toward Mosul." The New Yorker. October 19, 2016. Accessed July 10, 2018.

[xix]Gulmohamad, Zana. "Unseating the Caliphate: Contrasting the Challenges of Liberating Fallujah and Mosul." CTC Sentinel 9, no. 10 (October 2016). October 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://ctc.usma.edu/unseating-the-caliphate-contrasting-the-challenges-....

[xx]"Iraq: Fallujah Abuses Test Control of Militias." Human Rights Watch. June 9, 2016. Accessed July 19, 2018. https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/09/iraq-fallujah-abuses-test-control-mi....

[xxi]Knights, Michael, and Matthew Schweitzer. "Shiite Militias Are Crashing the Mosul Offensive." Washington Institute. November 18, 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/shiite-militias....

[xxii]Toumaj, Amir. "Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Launch Operation Southwest of Mosul." Long War Journal, April 29, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/04/iraqi-popular-mobilization-forces-launch-operation-southwest-of-mosul.php.; Gaston, Erica. "Mosul." Global Public Policy Institute. August 21, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.gppi.net/publications/iraq-after-isil-mosul/.; Anagnostos, Emily. "THE CAMPAIGN FOR MOSUL: MARCH 17-29, 2017." Institute for the Study of War. March 29, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/campaign-mosul-march-17-29-....

[xxiii]Gaston, Erica. "Mosul." Global Public Policy Institute. August 21, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.gppi.net/publications/iraq-after-isil-mosul/.; "Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[xxiv]Gaston, Erica. "Mosul." Global Public Policy Institute. August 21, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.gppi.net/publications/iraq-after-isil-mosul/.; "Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[xxv]Majidyar, Ahmad. "Iran-Backed Groups Playing “Extensive Role” in Tal Afar Operation." Middle East Institute. August 21, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.mei.edu/content/io/iran-backed-groups-playing-extensive-role-tal-afar-operation.; "Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[xxvi]"New Iraqi Minister of Interior: From Pro-Saddam to Pro-Iran." Al Arabiya English. January 31, 2017. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/01/31/New-Iraqi-Mi..., Hasan. "Summary Annual Report." Republic of Iraq Commission of Integrity. 2016. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://nazaha.iq/pdf_up/1640/summary_annual_report_2016.pdf.

[xxvii]Toumaj, Amir, and Romany Shaker. "Iranian-backed Iraqi Militias Form Coalition Ahead of Parliamentary Elections." Long War Journal, January 25, 2018. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/01/iranian-backed-iraqi-mil....

[xxviii]Sowell, Kirk H. "A Fractured Iraqi Cabinet." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. November 8, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/77674.

[xxix]"Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. 2019. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization.

[xxx]Harris, Bryant. "Congress Targets Election Winners in Iraq." Al-Monitor, May 30, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/05/congress-target-winne....

[xxxi]"Iraq's Sadr Announces Political Alliance with Pro-Iranian Bloc." Al-Jazeera, June 13, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/iraq-sadr-announces-political-all....

[xxxii]"Iraqi PM Al-Abadi and Shia Leader Al-Sadr Announce Alliance." Al-Jazeera, June 23, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/iraqi-pm-al-abadi-shia-leader-al-....

[xxxiii]Al-Salhy, Suadad. "Iraqi Leaders Begin Negotiations to Form Ruling Bloc." Arab News. May 14, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2019. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1302661/middle-east.

[xxxiv]"2018 - the Year Iraq's Political Battle Lines Were Redrawn." Arab News. December 29, 2018. Accessed February 24, 2019. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1427306/middle-east.

[xxxv]"New Iraqi Minister of Interior: From Pro-Saddam to Pro-Iran." Al Arabiya English. January 31, 2017. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/01/31/New-Iraqi-Mi..., Hasan. "Summary Annual Report." Republic of Iraq Commission of Integrity. 2016. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://nazaha.iq/pdf_up/1640/summary_annual_report_2016.pdf.

 

Organizational Structure

Leadership, Name Changes, Size Estimates, Resources, Geographic Locations

    Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Hadi al-Amiri (1983-Present)
  • Muen al-Kadhimi (Unknown to Present)
  • Mohammed Ghabban (Unknown-Present)
  • Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji (Unknown-Present)

Leadership

This section describes various leaders, their deputies, and other important officials in the militant organization. 

Hadi al-Amiri (1983-Present)

The founder and leader of the Badr Organization since its inception in 1983, al-Amiri has played an important role in the Iraqi government. Under former Prime Minister al-Maliki, al-Amiri served as the Minister of Transportation. In 2015, he was given command over Iraq’s army and police in Diyala province. It is also speculated that current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave al-Amiri control of the 20th Battalion of the Iraqi Army in 2014. Finally, Al-Amiri has served as the political leader of the Badr Organization since its split from the ISCI in 2012. Many consider al-Amiri to be acting with impunity in Iraq; he has the autonomy to plan and execute his own attacks.[i]



[i]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>.            

 

Muen al-Kadhimi (Unknown to Present)

Muen al-Kadhimi is the leader of the Badr Organization in Western Baghdad.[i]In April 2015, al-Kadhimi was a senior commander of the Badr Organization in the fight against the Islamic State in Tikrit. Al-Kadhimi explained there were no prisoners after this campaign because, “everywhere we captured [Islamic State militants] we killed them because they were the enemy.”[ii]He was also senior aide to Hadi al-Amiri in the campaign to drive the Islamic State out of Falluja in May 2015. [iii]



[i]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>. 

[ii]Nordland, Rod. "Iraq Forces, Pushing ISIS Out of Tikrit, Give Few Thanks for U.S. Airstrikes." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

[iii]"Iraq's Shi'ite Militias Target Falluja in Anbar Campaign." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 10 July 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

 

Mohammed Ghabban (Unknown-Present)

In October 2014, Mohammed Ghabban was appointed Iraq’s Interior Minister. He is a direct subordinate to al-Amiri in the Badr Organization. He resigned from the Interior Ministry in 2016.[i]



[i]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>.; Hameed, Saif, and Ahmed Rasheed. "Iraq's Interior Minister Resigns after Massive Baghdad Bomb Attack." Reuters, July 5, 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018.

 

Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji (Unknown-Present)

Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji fought against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war and was capture by Iran in 1984. During his imprisonment he joined the Badr Corps and continued to support the group both in Iran and in Iraq.[i]He is the current Iraqi Interior Minister, a position he ran for as a member of the Badr Organization political party.[ii]



[i]Alfoneh, Ali. "An Obstacle to Riyadh's Outreach to Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Minister's Ties with I.R.G.C." Middle East Institute. October 25, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://www.mei.edu/publications/obstacle-riyadhs-outreach-baghdad-iraqi....

[ii]Alfoneh, Ali. "An Obstacle to Riyadh’s Outreach to Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Minister’s Ties with I.R.G.C." An Obstacle to Riyadh’s Outreach to Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Minister’s Ties with I.R.G.C. October 25, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

 

    Name Changes
  • Name Changes
  • Size Estimates
  • Resources
  • Geographic Locations

Name Changes

  • The Badr Brigade (1983-2003): The group was originally named the Badr Brigade when it was founded as an armed wing of the SCIRI in 1983.
  • The Badr Organization for Reconstruction and Development (2003-Present): In 2003, the U.S. demanded that the Badr Brigade be disbanded; the SCIRI changed its name to the Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development to appear less militant.[i]

[i]Beehner, Lionel. “Iraq’s Militia Groups.” Council on Foreign Relations. October 2006. Available at: http://www.cfr.org/iraq/iraqs-militia-groups/p11824#p6

 

Size Estimates

  •  June 5, 2009: 10,000 (Council on Foreign Relations)[i]
  • November 2014: Upwards of 10,000 militants (Foreign Policy)[ii]
  • April 2018: 10,000-50,000 (The Wilson Center)[iii]


[i]Beehner, Lionel. "IRAQ: Militia Groups." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 9 June 2005. Web. 29 July 2015. 

[ii]Susannah George, “Breaking Badr,” Foreign Policy, November 6, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/06/breaking-badr

[iii]Nada, Garett, and Mattisan Rowan. "Part 2: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq." Wilson Center. April 03, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2019. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/part-2-pro-iran-militias-iraq.

 

Resources

  • Before the 2012 split, the Badr Organization received financial support from the ISCI.[i]However, the main financer of the organization has always been Iran. In 2005, the Jordanian news site al-Malafreported that the Badr Organization received $3 million each month from Tehran.[ii]Today, the group still relies on Iran for resources. In 2014, group founder and leader al-Amiri described Iranian support of the organization: “[Iran] gave us weapons, they gave us ammunition, and they gave us their military experience.”[iii]  
  • The Badr Organization has also reportedly acquired American-made weapons. In March 2016, reports surfaced of Badr Organizations fighters transporting and manning American weapons and other military vehicles, including an Abrams tank and a US AT-4 anti-tank rocket.  It remains unclear from where the group obtained the weapons.


[i]"Fact Sheet on Iraq’s Major Shi’a Political Parties and Militia Groups April 2008." Institute for the Study of War. April 2008. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Fact Sheet on Iraq's Major Shia Political Parties and Militia Groups.pdf. 

[ii]Beehner, Lionel. “Iraq’s Militia Groups.” Council on Foreign Relations. October 2006. Available at: http://www.cfr.org/iraq/iraqs-militia-groups/p11824#p6

[iii]"Iraq Is Giving a Key Security Job to a Man Linked to an Iranian-backed Paramilitary Group." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 July 2015. 

 

Geographic Locations

 

Strategy

Ideology, Aims, Political Activities, Targets, and Tactics

    Ideology and Goals
  • Ideology and Goals
  • Political Activities
  • Targets and Tactics

Ideology and Goals

Before its split with the ISCI, the Badr Organization followed a Shiite ideology and aimed to bring Iran’s brand of Islamism to Iraq. 

Now separated from the ISCI, the Badr Organization strives to obtain greater political influence, expand Shiite power in Iraq, and createan autonomous Shiite province in southern Iraq. The group is a strong supporter of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; the leader and founder of the Badr Organization, al-Amiri, described Khamenei as “the leader not only for Iranians, but the Islamic nation.”[i]



[i]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>. 

 

Political Activities

The Badr Organization was originally founded as the militia wing of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), a Shiite political party formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI). The group broke away in 2012 to maintain its Iranian ties after the ISCI attempted to disassociate from Iran. After the split, the Badr Organization became both a political and military organization. Since this time, the group has played an important role in Iraqi politics. Under former Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki, al-Amiri served as the Minister of Transportation; in October 2014, Mohammed Ghabban, a member of the Badr Organization, was appointed Iraq’s Interior Minister.[i]In 2014, the Badr Organization held 22 seats in Iraq’s parliament, with two of the seats held by Faleh Sari Abdashi Akkab and Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein Alaraji.[ii]Due to agreements made during the formation of the government in order to ensure sectarian representation, the head of the Interior Ministry will be always be a member of the Badr Organization.[iii]As of March 2019, the head of the Interior Ministry is Qasim al-Araji.[iv]

As of 2016, Badr Organization members, Faleh Sari Abdashi Akkab and Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji held parliament seats.[v]In 2018, the Badr Organization created the Fatah coalition, also known as the Fatah Alliance, a political partnership prominently featuring several PMFs.[vi]As of November 2018, Al-Amiri was the leader of this coalition.[vii]The Fatah alliance sought to gain seats in parliament in order to influence who the next Iraqi PM would be; however, the Badr Organization still operated independently and attempted to gain seats for its own members.[viii]In the May 2018 election, out of the 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament, Fatah won the second most at 47 seats, behind Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon alliance (who won 54 seats).[ix]The Sairoon alliance and Fatah were able to form a coalition,[x]which former Iraqi PM Abadi soon joined.[xi]  This three-way coalition has 143 seats, still short of the 165 seats required for a ruling bloc. The ruling bloc maintains the right to nominate the prime minister and shape the government.[xii]In December of 2018, many ministry positions were still unfilled, and Iraq entered 2019 in a state of political deadlock.[xiii]As of March 2019, Qasim Mohammed Jalal Hussein al-Araji is the current Iraqi Minister of the Interior.[xiv]



[i]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>. 

[ii]"The Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization>.; "Iraqi Parliament Guide." Iraqi Parliament Guide. Web. 29 July 2015. <http://www.iraqiparliament.info/en/members>.

[iii]"Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[iv]Alfoneh, Ali. "An Obstacle to Riyadh’s Outreach to Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Minister’s Ties with I.R.G.C." An Obstacle to Riyadh’s Outreach to Baghdad: Iraqi Interior Minister’s Ties with I.R.G.C. October 25, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[v]"New Iraqi Minister of Interior: From Pro-Saddam to Pro-Iran." Al Arabiya English. January 31, 2017. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/01/31/New-Iraqi-Mi..., Hasan. "Summary Annual Report." Republic of Iraq Commission of Integrity. 2016. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://nazaha.iq/pdf_up/1640/summary_annual_report_2016.pdf.

[vi]Toumaj, Amir, and Romany Shaker. "Iranian-backed Iraqi Militias Form Coalition Ahead of Parliamentary Elections." Long War Journal, January 25, 2018. Accessed July 18, 2018. https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/01/iranian-backed-iraqi-mil....

[vii]Sowell, Kirk H. "A Fractured Iraqi Cabinet." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. November 8, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/77674.

[viii]"Badr Organization." Counter Extremism Project. 2019. Accessed March 18, 2019. https://www.counterextremism.com/threat/badr-organization.

[ix]Harris, Bryant. "Congress Targets Election Winners in Iraq." Al-Monitor, May 30, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/05/congress-target-winne....

[x]"Iraq's Sadr Announces Political Alliance with Pro-Iranian Bloc." Al-Jazeera, June 13, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/iraq-sadr-announces-political-all....

[xi]"Iraqi PM Al-Abadi and Shia Leader Al-Sadr Announce Alliance." Al-Jazeera, June 23, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/iraqi-pm-al-abadi-shia-leader-al-....

[xii]Al-Salhy, Suadad. "Iraqi Leaders Begin Negotiations to Form Ruling Bloc." Arab News. May 14, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2019. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1302661/middle-east.

[xiii]"2018 - the Year Iraq's Political Battle Lines Were Redrawn." Arab News. December 29, 2018. Accessed February 24, 2019. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1427306/middle-east.

[xiv]"New Iraqi Minister of Interior: From Pro-Saddam to Pro-Iran." Al Arabiya English. January 31, 2017. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/01/31/New-Iraqi-Mi..., Hasan. "Summary Annual Report." Republic of Iraq Commission of Integrity. 2016. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://nazaha.iq/pdf_up/1640/summary_annual_report_2016.pdf.

 

Targets and Tactics

In the early 1990s, the Badr Organization began to transition from a guerilla force to a conventional military organization. The organization possessed heavy weaponry that it displayed in impressive military parades in Iraq.[i]More recently, members of the Badr Organization have been deployed alongside the Iraqi army to combat the Islamic State. In these operations, the group utilizes the same tactics as those employed by Iraq’s legitimate military force.[ii]

The Badr Organization is also suspected of kidnapping Sunnis, using torture tactics, and murdering Sunni Arabs and clerics.[iii]The leader of the Badr Organization, al-Amiri, is believed to have encouraged the use of brutal tactics, such as “using a power drill to pierce the skulls of adversaries.”[iv]However, al-Amiri has frequently denied the use of extreme violence.[v]



[i]Mahan Abedin, “Dossier: The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI),” Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, 5 (October 2003)

[ii]"Iraqi Forces Try to Seal off Islamic State around Tikrit." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/03/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN....

[iii]Curta, Francis. "Tit-for-tat Killings Inflame Sectarian Tensions in Iraq." Middle East Online. N.p., 19 May 2005. Web. 27 Aug. 2012. <http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=13544>.

[iv]Hassan, Mostapha. "Hadi Al-Amiri: Disgraceful History of Sectarianism." The Baghdad Post. July 24, 2017. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/14799/Hadi-al-Amiri-Disgraceful-h....

[v]Beehner, Lionel. "Council on Foreign Relations." Council on Foreign Relations. N.p., 30 Nov. 2005. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.cfr.org/iraq/shiite-militias-iraqs-security-forces/p9316>.

 

Major Attacks

First Attacks, Largest Attacks, Notable Attacks

Major Attacks

Disclaimer: These are some selecred major attacks in the militant organization's history. It is not a comprehensive listing, but captures some of the most famous attacks or turning points during the campaign. 

  1. August 2017: The Badr Organization and other Shiite militias affiliated with PMFs participated in the Iraqi army’s capture of Tal Afar from ISIS. (unknown killed, unknown wounded)[i]
  2. February 2017: The Badr Organization and other Shiite militias affiliated with PMFs participated in the Iraqi army’s capture of Mosul from ISIS. (unknown killed, unknown wounded)[ii]
  3. May 2016: The Badr Organization and other Shiite militias affiliated with PMFs participated in the Iraqi army’s capture of Fallujah from IS. Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) was among the Shiite militias accused of beating and executing dozens of Sunni civilians in the re-captured city (unknown killed, unknown wounded).[iii]
  4. May 13, 2016: IS claimed responsibility for an attack on soccer fans in the Shia town of Balad and the bombing of a nearby market.  The attacks led to reprisals on IS positions by the Badr Organization. (16 killed, unknown wounded).[iv]
  5. March-April 2015: The Badr Organization fought alongside a US-led coalition in a campaign to drive the Islamic State from Tikrit, a city north of Baghdad. It was reported that the leader of the Badr Organization, al-Amiri, led military efforts alongside the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, Soleimani.[v]
  6. January 2015: The Badr Organization is suspected to have killed 72 Iraqi civilians 80 kilometers east of Baghdad in Muqdadiyya. However, group leader al-Amiri has denied responsibility for the killings.[vi](72 Killed, Unknown Wounded)
  7. July 2014: The Human Rights Watch accused the Badr Organization of killing Sunni prisoners. It was also speculated that the organization targeted Iraqi Sunnis thought to be sympathetic to IS.[vii](Unknown Killed, Unknown Wounded)
  8. June 2014: After the fall of Mosul, the Badr Organization was victorious in a series of battles against the Islamic State in the Diyala Province. (Unknown Killed, Unknown Wounded)[viii]
  9. December 2007: Fifty Shiite pilgrims were killed in a clash between the Mahdi Army and the Badr Organization in Karbala. The Mahdi Army was blamed for the incident, precipitating the group’s eventual disarmament.[ix](50 Killed, Unknown Wounded)
  10. 2006: Hundreds of Iraqis were tortured and executed by armed police working for Iraq’s Interior Ministry under the SCIRI’s control. United Nations human rights chief John Pace, stated that many of these policemen were suspected members of the Badr Organization.[x](Hundreds Killed, Unknown Wounded)
  11. 2004-2006: In a leaked State Department cable from December 2009, the leader of the Badr Organization, al-Amiri, is speculated to have personally ordered attacks on up to 2,000 Iraqi Sunnis in a brutal sectarian war against Iraq’s Sunni population.[xi](2,000 Killed, Unknown Wounded)
  12. 1983-1988: The Badr Organization coordinated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to fight against Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War.[xii]  (Unknown Killed, Unknown Wounded)

 


[i]Majidyar, Ahmad. "Iran-Backed Groups Playing “Extensive Role” in Tal Afar Operation." Middle East Institute. August 21, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018. http://www.mei.edu/content/io/iran-backed-groups-playing-extensive-role-tal-afar-operation.; "Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

[ii]"Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Launch Operation Southwest of Mosul." Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. April 29, 2017. Accessed July 10, 2018.; Kenner, David, and Campbell Macdiarmid. "Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy." Foreign Policy. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 10, 2018.

[iii]“Iraq: Ban Abusive Militias from Mosul Operation,” Human Rights Watch, 31 July 2016. Web. August 2016.

[iv]“Islamic State Continues String of Suicide Bombings in Iraq.” Foreign Policy: The Middle East Daily, 16 May 2016. Web. 16 May 2016.

[v]"Iraqi Forces Try to Seal off Islamic State around Tikrit." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.; "Offensive To Retake Tikrit From ISIS: Iraqi Army, Shiite Militias Will Begin Battle Against Islamic State Within Hours After US Airstrikes." International Business Times. 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.

[vi]"Iraq: Militias Escalate Abuses, Possibly War Crimes." Human Rights Watch. 15 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 July 2015.

[vii]"Special Report: The Fighters of Iraq Who Answer to Iran." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 28 July 2015. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/12/us-mideast-crisis-militias-spe....

[viii]  Susannah George, “Breaking Badr,” Foreign Policy, November 6, 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/06/breaking-badr/

[ix]Rahimi, Babak. “The Return of Moqtada al-Sadr and the Revival of the Mahdi Army.” The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 3 June 2010. Web. 18 July 2014.  

[x]“Iraq's death squads: On the brink of civil war,” Independent (London), February 26, 2006, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraqs-death-squads-o...

[xi]Hassan, Mostapha. "Hadi Al-Amiri: Disgraceful History of Sectarianism." The Baghdad Post. July 24, 2017. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/14799/Hadi-al-Amiri-Disgraceful-h....

[xii]Abedin, Mahan. "Badr's Spreading Web." Asia Times Online. N.p., 10 Dec. 2005. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GL10Ak01.html>.

 

Interactions

Foreign Designations and Listings, Community Relations, Relations with Other Groups, State Sponsors and External Influences

    Designated/Listed
  • Designated/Listed
  • Community Relations
  • Relationships with Other Groups
  • State Sponsors and External Influences

Designated/Listed

  • The Badr Organization is not designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States or United Nations. 
  • The United Arab Emirates Terrorist Organization List: 2014-Present[i]


[i]“List of groups designated terrorist organisations by the UAE,” National (Abu Dhabi), November 16, 2014, http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/list-of-groups-designated-terro....

 

Community Relations

Based on the results of the 2018 Iraqi election, it appears as if though there is significant support for the Badr Organization and the PMFs.[i]In particular, Shia communities tend to have very high approval ratings of the PMFs.[ii]In contrast, Sunni communities in areas controlled by the Badr Organization tend to strongly dislike the group and the PMFs. The Badr Organization has incorporated Sunni tribal elements into the PMFs in order to mitigate this animus, but it is unclear if this has worked.[iii]



[i]Harris, Bryant. "Congress Targets Election Winners in Iraq." Al-Monitor, May 30, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2018. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/05/congress-target-winne....

[ii]Mansour, Renad, and Faleh A. Jabar. "The Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraq’s Future." Carnegie Middle East Center. April 28, 2017. Accessed July 19, 2018. http://carnegie-mec.org/2017/04/28/popular-mobilization-forces-and-iraq-....

[iii]"Mosul and Tel Afar Context Analysis Rise Foundation December 2017." Rise Foundation. December 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.

 

Relationships with Other Groups

The group has a history of conflict with the Mahdi Army, another Shiite militant group within Iraq.[i]This conflict manifests mainly through political channels; however, there have been instances of violent skirmishes between the groups, such as one in 2007 that inspired a leader of the Mahdi Army, Moqtada al-Sadr, to pursue political power.[ii]This rivalry originated because the Mahdi Army disproved of the close relationship between the Badr Organization and Iran. In addition, the Badr Organization supported former Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki, while the Mahdi Army called for al-Maliki’s resignation.[iii]  According to American military officials, the rivalry between the groups, called the “Badr vs. Sadr” conflict, is so pronounced that it shapes politics and society in southern Iraq.[iv]

The Badr Organization also has ties to Iraqi militant groups Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah. In June 2014, al-Maliki called for the establishment of popular militias to respond to Islamic State (IS) offensives in Iraq. The Badr Organization, and two other militant groups, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah, responded with the formation of the PMFs to combat IS.  This union, coupled with the fact that these groups are all proxies of Iran, has led to speculation that the groups share a close relationship.[v]

The Badr Organization is an enemy of IS, and its predecessor, AQI, because of its efforts to target Shiite Muslims. The Badr Organization has supported the fight against the Islamic State through participation in proxy groups also known as “popular committees”,  and collaborations with the Iraqi Army.[vi]



[i]Spiegel, Peter, "Badr v. Sadr Militia Rivalry Worries British There are Fears that Shia Militias May Come To Dominate Political Life Just As Saddam's Ba’ath Party Did," The Financial Times, December 15, 2005, p. 11, InfoTrac Academic OneFile

[ii]Rahimi, Babak. "The Rise of Ayatollah Moqtada Al-Sadr." Foreign Policy. July 28, 2009. Accessed April 02, 2019. https://foreignpolicy.com/2009/07/27/the-rise-of-ayatollah-moqtada-al-sadr/.

[iii]"Rivalry between Badr and Sadr Militias Worries UK Forces." Foreign Times. Web. 30 July 2015. <http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4ae65a6c-6cc9-11da-90c2-0000779e2340.html... Schmidt, Michael S., Healy, Jack. “In Blow to Government, Sadr Followers Call For New Elections.” New York Times, 26 December 2012. Web. 23 July 2014. 

[iv]"Rivalry between Badr and Sadr Militias Worries UK Forces." Foreign Times. Web. 30 July 2015. <http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4ae65a6c-6cc9-11da-90c2-0000779e2340.html....

[v]"Iranian Proxies Step Up Their Role in Iraq." - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Web. 29 July 2015. 

[vi]"Iranian Proxies Step Up Their Role in Iraq." - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Web. 29 July 2015. 

 

State Sponsors and External Influences

The Badr Organization is heavily influenced by Iran. After its founding in 1983, the organization operated out of Iran for two decades. The organization still receives funding and ideological guidance from the country. In 2014, the leader stated that “if it wasn’t for Iran, Baghdad would have fallen” and that he is “proud of this friendship” between the Badr Organization and Iran.[i]



[i]Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed, and Kyle Dabruzzi. "Know Thy Enemies: Who Are We Fighting, and Who Is Supporting Them?" Discover The Networks. N.p., 11 May 2007. Web. 22 Aug. 2012. <http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Know%20Thy%20Enemies.html>.; "Iraq Is Giving a Key Security Job to a Man Linked to an Iranian-backed Paramilitary Group." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 July 2015.

 

Maps

The project develops a series of interactive diagrams that "map" relationships among groups and show how those relationships change over time. The user can change map settings to display different features (e.g., leadership changes), adjust the time scale, and trace individual groups.

Evolving Militant Interactions

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