(JNS) The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned the Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitary group Harakat al-Nujaba.
The group’s secretary general, Akram al-Kaabi, “has said he would overthrow the Iraqi government if ordered to do so by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,” according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). The United States had already designated al-Kaabi as a terrorist in 2008 for killing Americans.
Harakat al-Nujaba, which is loyal to Iran, was founded with Iranian backing in 2013 to fight in Syria and in Iraq.
Nujaba published a photograph on its Facebook profile in 2015 of al-Kaabi near the Syrian town of Aleppo with Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, which has a presence in Syria and backs Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its proximity and modus operandi is a direct threat to Israel.
In 2016, al-Kaabi met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and declared their two organizations to be “twins of the resistance.”
Moreover, taking over Iraq would likely enable a “land bridge” of Shi’ite Muslim neighborhoods from Iran to Lebanon as a way to threaten Israel.
Finally, Nujaba “has announced the formation of a ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’ and has vowed to support Hezbollah in a future war against Israel,” according to FDD.