The Department of State has designated the al-Qaida Kurdish Battalions (AQKB) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of the designation, any assets that AQKB holds under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the organization. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to AQKB.
Established in 2007 from the remnants of other Kurdish terrorist organizations, AQKB has sworn allegiance publicly to other terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq. Operating along the border between Iran and Iraq, AQKB believes the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government are traitors and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Kurdish targets in Iraq, including a May 2007 attack in Erbil, Iraq, in which 19 people were killed when a vehicle loaded with explosives struck the Kurdish Ministries of the Interior and Security. In July 2007, AQKB killed seven border guards and one Patriotic Union of Kurdistan security force member in an ambush in Penjwan, Iraq. In September 2010, two police officers were injured during a foiled AQKB suicide bomb attack targeting security officers in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.
The designation under E.O. 13224 blocks all of AQKB’s property interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of AQKB. The actions taken against this organization demonstrate the United States’ resolve in eliminating AQKB’s ability to execute violent attacks.