Hadi al-Amiri

Leader and secretary general of the Badr Organization, an Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia and political party based in Iraq

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Hadi al-Amiri is the reported leader and secretary general of the Badr Organization, an Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia and political party based in Iraq. Al-Amiri has a history of instigating sectarian violence in Iraq. In a period of heightened violence between 2004 and 2006, al-Amiri reportedly ordered attacks on up to 2,000 Sunnis. According to a leaked cable from the U.S. State Department, “One of [al-Amiri’s] preferred methods of killing allegedly involved using a power drill to pierce the skulls of his adversaries.” A U.S. federal indictment has linked al-Amiri to a 1996 attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. Air Force servicemen;

Al-Amiri’s military influence extends beyond the confines of the Badr Organization. He serves as the leader of Iraq’s collective Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella group of Shiite militias controlled by the Iraqi government. He also wields control over Iraq’s army and police in Diyala province. Then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reportedly entrusted al-Amiri with command over the Iraqi Army’s 20th Battalion, according to the battalion’s commander, General Ali al-Wazir;

Al-Amiri also serves as the leader of the Badr Organization’s political wing, a party that holds 22 seats in Iraq’s parliament. From 2011 to 2014, al-Amiri served as Iraq’s transportation minister. When a lesser-known member of the Badr Organization was elected as Iraq’s interior minister in October 2014, it was widely presumed that al-Amiri would serve as the country’s de facto interior minister;

Today, al-Amiri seeks to rebrand the Badr Organization, casting himself and his organization as a moderate, nationalistic, and inclusive counterweight to violent Sunni terrorist group ISIS. Nonetheless, areas in which the Badr organization has fought ISIS have seen “some of the most high-profile Sunni-Shiite violence of the current conflict,” according to the Washington Post;

While al-Amiri’s political party has sought to downplay its role as an Iranian proxy, al-Amiri himself remains loyal to Iran’s Supreme Leader. In early 2015, al-Amiri said of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that he “is the leader not only for Iranians but the Islamic nation. I believe so and I take pride in it.” Al-Amiri also retains a strong relationship with Iran and its deceased military envoy to Iraq, Qasem Soleimani. According to senior Iraqi politicians, al-Amiri is the commander closest to Iran on the battlefield;

Badr won 22 parliamentary seats in Iraqi elections in May 2018, the same number of seats it won in 2014. Al-Amiri sought Iraq’s premiership but withdrew in September 2018. In April 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi assigned al-Amiri to oversee construction and protection initiatives in Basra’s Majnoon Oil Field;

Under al-Amiri’s leadership, the Badr Organization has risen to preeminence in both the military and political spheres. One Iraqi official described the Badr Organization, including leader al-Amiri, as “easily” the most powerful force in Iraq, stronger even than Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. A Human Rights Watch researcher said of al-Amiri that he is “an extremely powerful figure and he’s essentially acting with total impunity now. It’s not really the government leading the militias; it’s the other way around.”;

Despite’s Badr’s political rise, al-Amiri has maintained his extremist ties. Al-Amiri was photographed outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on December 31, 2019, as protesters threw stones and torched a security post at the embassy, prompting suspicions that he was encouraging the violence. After the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called al-Amiri an Iranian “proxy” aiding terrorists. Following the January 3, 2020, deaths of Soleimani and Kata’ib Hezbollah leader Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, a.k.a. Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in a U.S. airstrike, al-Amiri pledged that Badr would join other Iranian-sponsored Iraqi militias in seeking revenge on the United States;

Also Known As:
Abu Hassan
Hadi al-Ameri
Hajj Abu Hassan

Ideologies and Affiliations:




Badr Organization

Reason for the color:
» Pompeo names Iraqi Badr militia leader Hadi al-Amiri as Iranian proxy;