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First Mentioned:
June 2003
Unknown number of members
Religious, Nationalist/Separatist
Last Attack:
July 25, 2006
Financial Sources:

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al-Zawba'i, Hatim
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Islamic Army in Iraq • Ally (Suspected)
Islamic Front for Iraqi Resistance - Salah-al-Din al-Ayyubi Brigades • Ally (Suspected)
Mujahideen Army • Ally (Suspected)
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US Terrorist Exclusion List Designee: No
UK Proscribed Group: No
Australia Specified Group: No
Canada Specified Group: No
EU Specified Group: No
Russia Specified Group: No
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The US State Department has designated groups into three different classifications. Click on one of the following to learn more about each group and to access their group profiles.

Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)

Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL)

Other Terrorist Organizations (OTO)

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image 1920 Revolution Brigades

Mothertongue Name:
كتائب ثورة العشرين

Aliases: 20th Revolution Brigades, Revolution of the 1920s Brigades, Twentieth Revolution Brigades

Base of Operation: Iraq

Founding Philosophy: The 1920 Revolution Brigades (Kata’ib Thawrat al-Ishreen) is a Sunni Islamic extremist group in the Iraqi insurgency that has claimed responsibility for several attacks on U.S. forces as well as some high profile incidents including the kidnapping of U.S. marine Wassef Ali Hassoun in June 2004 and the bombing of the al-Arabiya television network headquarters in Baghdad in October 2005.

The group first appeared in June 2003 as a “nationalist Jihadist movement” dedicated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in order to build an Islamic state. The 1920 Revolution Brigades is the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, formerly called the Iraqi National Islamic Resistance. The group is named after the 1920 Iraqi uprising against British colonial occupation following World War I, when the League of Nations granted the United Kingdom control over three Ottoman territories – Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra – that make up present day Iraq. Arabic script in the group’s logo contains a verse from the Quran popular among Jihadists, “Fight them, God shall torture them by your hands,” below which reads, “Islamic Resistance Movement, Twentieth Revolution Brigades.”

Little is known about the group’s leadership, except that on 2 January 2005, the Iraqi Defense Ministry reported that Iraqi security forces arrested Hatim al-Zawba’i, whom they identified as a commander of the 1920 Revolution Brigades.

The 1920 Revolution Brigades employs tactics common to other Iraqi insurgency groups such as roadside improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on military vehicles, suicide bombings, and mortar and rocket attacks. Unlike some Jihadist organizations, the group has stated that it prohibits the targeting of public areas and oil facilities and generally forbids the killing of Muslims. The group is also active online, maintaining a website and frequently publishing claims of responsibility and releasing videos of insurgent operations.

As one of several militant organizations in Iraq, the 1920 Revolution Brigades has affirmed its autonomy within the insurgency and has declined to join the Mujahideen Shura Council, a union of several Iraqi insurgent bands established in January 2006. In November 2005, however, the group published joint statements with other prominent resistance units under the name Joint Coordination Bureau for Jihad Groups.

The 1920 Revolution Brigades gained international media attention on 27 June 2004 when the Arab television network al-Jazeera broadcast a hostage video of captured U.S. marine Wassef Ali Hassoun. A group called Islamic Response, identifying themselves as the security wing of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The incident later appeared to be a hoax when Hassoun surfaced in his native Lebanon three weeks after he was supposedly captured. Hassoun then reported to the U.S. embassy in Beirut and returned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, but he disappeared again in January 2005 just before his military hearing.

Current Goals: The 1920 Revolution Brigades continues to target U.S. troops in Iraq. In a statement issued on 13 February 2006, the group vowed to “carry on jihad until the liberation and victory or [until they are] martyred,” and adamantly denied any relation to the Ba’ath party. Given the current trend in activity, it is likely that the group will continue fighting U.S. forces by carrying out suicide bombings, planting IEDs, and launching rockets and mortars at U.S. positions. Likewise, they will probably continue to issue statements online and release videos of their attacks.

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Further Reference
"Group Says Marine Is in 'Place of Safety'," Edward Wong, 06/06/2004, The New York Times
"Iraqi National Guard Arrest 217 Suspects, Commander of 1920 Revolution Brigades," 01/02/2005, Baghdad Radio Dijlah, (Iraq)
"Highlights: Iraqi Press 4 Jan 05," 01/04/2005, Al-Da'wah, (Iraq)

Related Categories
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Location > Middle East / Persian Gulf > Iraq
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Location > Middle East / Persian Gulf
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Ideology > Nationalist/Separatist
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Ideology > Religious

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TKB Data Status
Incident data: Last updated on Jan. 16, 2007
Indictment data: Last updated on Sept. 27, 2006

  Data is subject to revision as events and additional information warrant.
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1968 - Present
Incidents Injuries Fatalities
2 0 2
Utilities 50%
Business 50%
Data for 1968-1997 covers only international incidents.
Data for 1998-Present covers both domestic and international incidents.

1920 Revolution Brigades attacked Utilities target (July 25, 2006, Iraq)

1920 Revolution Brigades attacked Business target (Nov. 11, 2004, Iraq)



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