Qais Khazali

Was part of a committee of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) proxies that approved the use of lethal violence against protesters for the purpose of public intimidation

Status:Top Alert – Entity designated / sanctioned for terror, WMD and human rights violation

Risk Level:99%

May harm your business future. Persons or entities that engage in transactions with this entity will be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.

Working with this entity means supporting Iranian Regime, Regime Terrorist Activities & development of WMD

Qais al-Khazali is Secretary General of the Iran-backed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) militia in Iraq. During the late 2019 protests in many cities in Iraq, AAH has opened fire on and killed protesters. Laith al-Khazali, Qais al-Khazali’s brother, is also a leader of AAH. Qais al-Khazali was part of a committee of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) proxies that approved the use of lethal violence against protesters for the purpose of public intimidation;

In Diyala Province, Iraq, AAH has been involved in widespread forced disappearances, abductions, killings, and torture, targeting Sunni Iraqis with impunity. In late 2015, Laith al-Khazali controlled efforts to remove Sunnis from areas of Diyala Province, including killings to drive Sunnis from the area;

Additionally, Qais and Laith al-Khazali had leading roles in a January 2007 attack on an Iraqi government compound in Karbala. The attack killed five U.S. soldiers and wounded three;

As AAH seeks to expand its role into Iraq’s political sphere, al-Khazali continues his sectarian rhetoric. Days before Iraq’s April 30, 2014, parliamentary elections, al-Khazali gave an ominous speech, drenched with “sectarian undertones,” at an AAH rally in Baghdad to 10,000 supporters. ISIS bombed the rally, killing at least 33 attendants including 10 AAH militants who fought alongside Assad forces in Syria. Days later in the April 30 elections, AAH’s political party al-Sadiqun (the Honest Ones) ran as part of the State of Law bloc, winning only one seat;

Since that time, AAH has continued to act primarily as a militia under al-Khazali’s leadership, though the group maintains a political role. AAH today fights anti-Assad rebels in Syria as well as ISIS in Iraq. Meanwhile, the group has continued to prioritize its role as an anti-American militia, boycotting the March 2015 battle against ISIS in Tikrit because of U.S. military aid. Al-Khazali also continues to deliver divisive and sectarian rhetoric against fellow Iraqis. In March 2015, al-Khazali said of Iraq’s Kurdish population, “[they are] operating right now like leeches, which feed on the host’s body – sucking more and more of its blood – in an effort to grow in size.”;

In March 2017, al-Khazali called for the establishment of separate universities in Iraq to be run by Shiite militias within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs). In the speech delivered before a crowd of university students, al-Khazali reportedly said that Iraq needed a “PMU University, through which we could address our enemies and tell them, ‘If you fear us now, you must know that the PMU is present in every university, college and department.’” According to Iraqi journalist Hassan al-Shanoun, al-Khazali’s call appears to mimic Iranian-style “cultural revolution” tactics from the 1980s. During that time, schools were closed, teachers and students were expelled, and all western and non-Islamic teachings were removed from curriculums. Al-Khazali also released a statement saying that Iraqi students “need to organize their ranks, which would allow them to overthrow any corrupt government or regime.”;

AAH ran in the May 2018 national elections within the Fatah Alliance, a coalition of Iran-backed Haashid Shaabi militias. AAH won 15 seats propelling Khazali into a position of political power within the new government;

Qais al-Khazali is designated for being a foreign person who is a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure;

The IRGC-QF, designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, is a branch of the IRGC responsible for external operations and has provided material support to numerous terrorist groups, making it a key component of Iran’s destabilizing regional activities. The IRGC-QF’s parent organization, the IRGC, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 13, 2017, and on April 15, 2019 was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State;

Also Known As:
Alazerej, Qays Hadi Sayyid
Al-Khazali, Qais Hadi Sayed Hasan
Qais al-Khazali

Ideologies and Affiliations:



Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq

Reason for the color:
» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on December 6, 2019 pursuant to Executive Order 13818 for involvement in serious human rights abuse in Iraq;
» On 3 January 2020, U.S. designated Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq as foreign terrorist organization, with Qais al-Khazali and his brother Laith al-Khazali as Specially Designated Global Terrorists;