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Hurras al-Din (HAD) / Huras al-Din
Guardians of Religion
Tanzim Hurras al-Din
Tandhim Hurras al-Deen
Hurras al-Deen
Sham al-Ribat
Al-Qaida in Syria AQ-S

A group affiliated with Al-Qaida, Hurras al-Din (HAD), operated in Idlib and its suburbs and is assessed to have between 3,500 and 5,000 fighters as of early 2020, up to half of whom are foreign terrorist fighters from countries that include Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. HAD adheres more to a global than a local Syrian agenda. Its leader, the Syrian national Samir Hijazi, also known as Abu Hammam al-Shami (not listed), obtained the blessing of Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri (QDi.006) to operate in the name and under the umbrella of Al-Qaida.

Since 2017, al-Qaida affiliates have merged with several regional extremist groups to fulfill al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiris call to unite militants, attack regional enemies, and offset counterterrorism operations. Hurras al-Din became al-Qaidas Syrian affiliate led by Abu Hammam al-Shami following several mergers in 2018.

UN Member States assessed that HAD was made up of a number of small factions, including Jund Al-Malahim, Jaysh Al-Sahel, Jaysh Al-Badyah, Saraya Al-Sahel, Saraya Kabul, Jund Al-Sharia, Ansar Al-Furqan, Saraya Al-Ghotta, Abu Baker the Al-Sideeq Brigade, the Abu Obaidah Al-Jarah Brigade, Saraya Al-Ghurabaa, the Jund Al-Sham Brigades, the Fursan Al-Eyman Brigades, the Al-Nukhba Forces, the Abdullah Azzam Group and the Usood Al-Tawheed Brigade.

Faruq al-Suri is the leader of the terrorist organization Hurras al-Din (HAD). Al-Suri is a veteran member of al-Qaida (AQ), having been active in the terrorist organization for decades. He was a senior paramilitary trainer with AQ senior leader Sayf al-Adl in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and trained fighters for AQ in Iraq from 2003 to 2005. Al-Suri was previously detained in Lebanon from 2009 to 2013, and afterwards became the military commander of al-Nusrah Front. He left the al-Nusrah Front in 2016. On September 10, 2019, the Department of State designated al-Suri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.

Sami al-Uraydi is a senior sharia official for Hurras al-Din (HAD). Al-Uraydi previously was involved in terrorist plots against the United States and Israel. Al-Uraydi is a member of HADs shura, the groups senior decision-making body. Al-Uraydi was al-Nusrah Fronts senior sharia official from 2014 to 2016, and left the group in 2016. Hurras al-Din is an al-Qaida-affiliated group that emerged in Syria in early 2018 after several factions broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HAD leadership, including al-Uraydi remains loyal to AQ and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Abu Abd al-Karim al-Masri is a veteran member of al-Qaida (AQ) and a senior leader of Hurras al-Din (HAD). In 2018, al-Masri, was a member of HADs shura, the groups senior decision-making body, and served as a mediator between it and the al-Nusrah Front. Hurras al-Din is an al-Qaida-affiliated group that emerged in Syria in early 2018 after several factions broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HAD leadership, including al-Masri remains loyal to AQ and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

One State in the region assessed that HAD, given its size, ideology and the capabilities of its veterans, presented a growing threat to peace and security regionally and globally, and that its leadership planned to revive external operations targeting Western and United States interests wherever possible. The joint Incite the believers operations room includes HTS, HAD, Jaysh Ansar Al-Tawheed and other groups currently active in the north-east of the Syrian Arab Republic. HAD exerted substantial control over the rooms operations.

States reported that, parallel to its military operations and attacks in Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Ladhiqiyah, HAD was also conducting proselytization activities through an association called the Duat al-Tawhid Centre, led by Abu Usamah al-Shawkani (not listed). HAD raised funds locally and online using Telegram and WhatsApp as part of a wider fundraising campaign launched in mid-May 2019. Member States expressed concerns that this might give HAD access to international financial support.

On 10 September 2019, acting under the authority of and in accordance with section 1(a)(ii)(A) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, Executive Order 13284 of January 23, 2003, and the Executive Order titled Modernizing Sanctions to Combat Terrorism effective September 10, 2019, Michael R. Pompeo determined that the person known as Hurras al-Din, also known as Guardians of Religion, also known as Tanzim Hurras al-Din, also known as Tandhim Hurras al-Deen, also known as Hurras al-Deen, also known as Sham al-Ribat, also known as Al-Qaida in Syria, also known as AQ-S, is a foreign person who has committed or has attempted to commit, or poses a significant risk of committing, or has participated in training to commit, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

Consistent with the determination in section 10 of Executive Order 13224 that prior notice to persons determined to be subject to the Order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States would render ineffectual the blocking and other measures authorized in the Order because of the ability to transfer funds instantaneously, I determine that no prior notice needs to be provided to any person subject to this determination who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, because to do so would render ineffectual the measures authorized in the Order.



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Page last modified: 24-02-2020 18:24:06 ZULU