Abdullah Azzam Brigades listed as FTO

May 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department announced it has listed Lebanese militant group Abdullah Azzam Brigades as a foreign terrorist organization.

The State Department identified the brigade, formed in 2009, as a militant organization based in Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula.

Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati said military authorities uncovered a terrorist cell in its ranks in March. The group, believed to be tied to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, was allegedly planning attacks on military barracks.

The State Department says the group took credit for a 2010 attack on a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

"Abdullah Azzam Brigades has repeatedly articulated its intent to carry out attacks against Western interests in the Middle East," a departmental statement read.

The organization is led by Saleh al-Qarawi, designated as a terrorist by the State Department. Alleged bomb maker Abu Jabal was designated in November.

The group has allegedly attacked civilian targets in Israel from southern Lebanon.

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