Qods Force: Iranian regime's instrument for extraterritorial terror activities
NCRI - The following brief was prepared by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI):
As far as the Iranian regime's involvement in terrorism is concerned, Tehran has the most extensive terror network in the world. It is responsible for some 80 percent of all major terror attacks --directly or indirectly-- in the past two decades. Tehran has by far been the most sophisticated, well-funded state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. It is driven by an Islamic fundamentalist ideology and would use any opportunity and employ every source -regardless of its religious tendencies-- to accomplish its objectives. Tehran's ties can be explained in this context.
The Qods (Jerusalem) Force is the most secretive, elite, and skilled unit of the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Formed in 1990, it is now responsible for all the extraterritorial activities of the Iranian regime, namely all terror attacks abroad. Its commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani directly reports to the regime's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
Final coordination of the Qods Force's activities around the world and provision of the appropriate diplomatic or other cover for its agents, the use of diplomatic facilities and immunities that facilitate receiving supplies and messages, weapons and military equipment for its terrorist agents fall within the responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tehran's embassies. The embassies are also heavily involved in intelligence-gathering operations against opposition groups and figures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs turns over the information to the Qods Force.
The Qods force was originally called the Lebanon Corps. It carried out the suicide truck bomb attack on the US Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983.
The Qods [Jerusalem Force] is the most important agency tasked with the export of terrorism and fundamentalism.
1. In 1990, the Iranian regime consolidated all its intelligence agencies and extraterritorial institutions to form the Qods Force. The most experienced and veteran IRGC commanders were assigned to the Force. Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, the IRGC's Intelligence Directorate Chief was the Qods Force's first commander. He said our objective is the formation of an "international Islamic Army." Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani is the current IRGC commander. The headquarters for the Force is the former site of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
2. The Qods Force has more than 21,000 Iranian members an thousands on non-Iranian mercenaries, which are active in intelligence gathering and terrorist activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, including in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, Jordan, etc. The Force's representatives work in many embassies around the world as diplomats.
3. The Qods Force has 12 directorates. In addition, it has several units called International Affairs Units that pursue developments in other countries. They are: Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Middle East, Russia, Africa, and Europe.
4. In addition to terrorist operations, the Qods Force also trains non-Iranian terrorist forces, including nations from Pakistan, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and other Middle East countries. The training is provided to groups of 40 to 50 persons. The Force has dozens of garrisons across Iran in which it trains its non-Iranian operatives.
5. Some of the Force's training centers for foreign nationals are as follows:
a. Imam Ali Training base. It is one of the most important training bases and is located north of Tehran, in Alborz Kouh Street.
b. Khomeini Training base. It is located on Khavaran-Semnan highway, before reaching Pakdasht Township. Col. Rezai is the commander of the base, where a large number of foreign forces from Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine are being currently trained.
c. Bahonar base. It is located on Chalous highway, near Karaj Dam. This is also among one of the most important training centers.
d. Qods Training Center in Nahavand. It is located 45km from the town of Nahavand, west of Iran. Foreign forces, including those from Lebanon and Afghanistan are trained here.
e. Qom's Beit ol-Moghadas University in the city of Qom.
f. Training center in Tehran's Farahzad district.
g. Training center on Damavand highway.
h. Hezbollah Base in Varamin, southeast of Tehran.
i. Madani Base in Dezful, (southwest Iran).
j. Bisotoun Base in Kermanshah, (western Iran).
k. Tangeh Kenesht Base in Kermanshah, (western Iran).
l. Ghayour Training Base in Ahwaz (southwest Iran).
6. The Qods Force has six major garrisons along Iran's borders with other countries. They are tasked with following up terrorist operations in the neighboring countries. They are:
a. Ramadan Garrison (First Corps) in Kermanshah (west). Mission: Iraq.
b. Nabi-Akram Garrison (Second Corps) in Zahedan (southeast). Mission: Pakistan.
c. Hamza Garrison (Third Corps) in Orumieh (northwest). Mission: Turkey.
d. Ansar Garrison (Fourth Corps) in Mashad (northeast). Mission: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
7. Terrorist Units.
In addition to the six garrisons, the Force has several other corps, including:
a. The Sixth Corps. Mission: Persian Gulf states.
b. The Seventh Corps. Mission: Lebanon and Syria.
c. The Eighth Corps. Mission: African States.
d. The Ninth Corps. Mission: Europe and the United States.
Qods Force in Iraq
The Qods Force is mainly focused on Iraq at the present. Iraq is the gateway to reach the rest of the Islamic world. The most senior IRGC generals as well as thousands of personnel are based in Ramadan Garrison. Their mission: To dominate Iraq. Large parts of southern Iraq are virtually in the control of the IRGC.
The regime has accomplished this feat by allocating billions of dollars, dispatching thousands of clerics and paying thousands of mercenaries on a monthly basis.
The Qods Force Fajr Garrison in Ahwaz has set up intelligence and reconnaissance squads to collect intelligence on the Coalition forces and identifying them. To this end, Fajr Garrison commanders, including Brig. Gen. Obeidavi, the garrison's commander, Hamid Taghavi, Ramadan Garrison's operations commander, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Forouzandeh, Ramadan Garrison's deputy commander, Brig. Gen. Balalek, Fajr Garrison's operational commander, Col. Heidar Saki, Fajr Garrison's intelligence commander as well as a number of other Fajr intelligence and operations commanders have repeatedly traveled to Al-Amara and Basra to make contact with these squads. They have posed as Iraqis in order not to be identified.
Each reconnaissance squad numbers around 20, each entrusted with a specific task. Some work in the streets as venders. Others are engaged in watch operations near their hideouts. Others have opened shops to collect intelligence and carry out surveillance operations on the Coalition forces. Some teams are engaged in filming. They also pose as ordinary people to get close to Coalition bases.
Some time ago, the Fajr Garrison set up an eavesdropping center in Basra. They intercept the communication between the government, police and Coalition forces. All equipment has come from Iran.
By causing chaos and launching terrorist operations on the Coalition columns in Basra, Al-Amara and Nassiriya, the Qods has prevented the Coalition forces from entering major population centers. The objective is to control the inner cities, both militarily and security wise.
The Fajr Garrison is currently smuggling different weapons' caches to Iraq. They use the Ajirdeh Dam region, Al-Aziz, Al-Holafayeh, Al-Moshrah. They also use the marshes in the south and the Tayeb region. The mostly use boats to do so.
The Fajr Garrison commander Obeidavi visits operatives affiliated with the Qods Force in Iraq on a monthly basis. He usually goes to Basra and Nassiriya.
In a confidential report to the Qods Force in June, the Fajr Garrison informed the Qods Force headquarters that "Iraqi groups affiliated with the Garrison have succeeded in setting up a well-coordinated entity to assassinate prominent Sunni personalities, including members of Iraq's Islamic Party, the Society of Muslim Scholars and other Sunni activists. By assassinating officials of these entities, they have succeeded in paving the way for pro-regime groups in Iraq's politics and facilitated their control of government portfolios."