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Asaib al Haq (AAH) League of the Righteous

The "Asaib al Haq" criminal ring is a Shiite group that broke away from Muqtada al-Sadr's militia. Iranian-backed Shia militias Asaib Al-Haq (AHH), Kataib Hezbollah (KH), and Muqtada al Sadrs Promised Day Brigade (PDB) have targeted U.S. interests and retain the capability to do so. The threat of kidnapping, rocket attacks, improvised explosive devices, and small arms fire against official and private U.S. interests remains high and is sometimes subject to the influence of domestic, political, regional, and international developments.

While Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) remained Iraqs most dangerous enemy, by 2011 Shia extremist groups continue to be a serious threat. Groups such as Kataib Hezbollah, Asaib al-Haq, and the Promised Day Brigade have indicated their intention to increase violence against U.S. forces and they continue in their attempts to do just that.

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's anti-U.S. rhetoric still inspired followers, but Iraqi security officials said in June 2011 that Mahdi Army splinter groups had too much to lose by returning to sectarian violence. With 39 seats in the 325-member parliament, Mahdi Army veterans may be much less keen to return to arms, even if Sadr callsedon them to do so. "Despite his huge number of supporters, if Moqtada decided to fight now, only a few would fight," said Abu Sadiq, a senior Mahdi Army leader in Sadr City. Additionally, "the danger that Moqtada faces is from his leaders who are competing with each other for posts, wealth and positions," Abu Moqtada, a former Mahdi fighter, said. The biggest splinter group, Asaib al-Haq, was already challenging Sadrs authority and legitimacy.

By late 2011 the inability/unwillingness of Iraqs leadership to address Iraqs basic political divisions was beginning to re-ignite Iraqs smoldering security problems. Prime Minister Malikis dependence on the Sadrists and Iran (who were the keys to his retaining office) has meant that violent Shiite groups such as Asaib Ahl al-Haqq, Khitaib Hizballah and the Promise Day Brigades of Muqtada as-Sadrs own Jaysh al-Mahdi, had been able to operate with relative impunity.

Among Iraqis, by 2012 there was a growing fear that as Iran becomes further isolated, it would use the relationships and terrorist groups (most prominently Asaib al-Haq (AAH)) it had cultivated in Iraq to drive a wedge deeper into the Sunni-Shia relationship, to embarrass Iraq in the eyes of its nascent western allies, and to scare off foreign investors. Iran's proxies could also attack U.S. activities and further reduce their effectiveness.




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