Laith al-Khazali

Laith al-Khazali is a U.S.-designated leader in Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), an Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia and political party operating primarily in Iraq. He is the brother of AAH founder and Secretary-General Qais al-Khazali.“State Department Terrorist Designations of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and its leaders, Qays and Laith al-Khazali,” U.S. Department of State, January 3, 2020, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designations-of-asaib-ahl-al-haq-and-its-leaders-qays-and-laith-al-khazali/.

Al-Khazali and his brother are suspected of leading a January 20, 2007, AAH attack on U.S. troops in Iraq that killed five soldiers. Al-Khazali was arrested for his suspected involvement, but U.S. forces freed him in June 2009 in order to help facilitate dialogue between the Iraqi government and AAH. Al-Khazali went into hiding immediately after his release.Alissa J. Rubin and Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.’s,” New York Times, June 8, 2009, https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/world/middleeast/09release.html?auth=login-smartlock.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanction-designated al-Khazali in December 2019 after AAH killed multiple peaceful demonstrators in Iraq, accusing him for complicity in human rights abuses. His brother, Qais, was designated for his leading an entity engaged in human rights abuses.“Treasury Sanctions Iran-Backed Militia Leaders Who Killed Innocent Demonstrators in Iraq,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2019, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm847. The U.S. Department of State sanctioned both of the al-Khazali brothers the following month as Specially Designated Foreign Terrorists.“State Department Terrorist Designations of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and its leaders, Qays and Laith al-Khazali,” U.S. Department of State, January 3, 2020, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designations-of-asaib-ahl-al-haq-and-its-leaders-qays-and-laith-al-khazali/.

United States

On December 6, 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Laith al-Khazali pursuant to Executive Order 13818 for being a foreign person who is responsible for, complicit in, or has directly engaged in serious human rights abuses.“Treasury Sanctions Iran-Backed Militia Leaders Who Killed Innocent Demonstrators in Iraq,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 6, 2019, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm847.

On January 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated Laith al-Khazali as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.“State Department Terrorist Designations of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and its leaders, Qays and Laith al-Khazali,” U.S. Department of State, January 3, 2020, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designations-of-asaib-ahl-al-haq-and-its-leaders-qays-and-laith-al-khazali/.

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