Jund Ansar Allah (Gaza)

Jund Ansar Allah is a Salafi-jihadi group active in Gaza that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. It was founded at the end of 2008 by a salafist sheikh, Abdellatif Musa, and Khaled Banat (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Suri) who claimed to have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. The group criticised Hamas for not imposing Sharia law and was responsible for attacks on ‘impious’ internet cafes and social celebrations.

Jund Ansar Allah came to international prominence in June 2009 when its members attacked Israeli security forces personnel on horseback at the Karni border crossing. Two months later, Abdellatif Musa declared an “Islamic Emirate” in the Gaza Strip from his mosque in Rafah. The ensuing two-day gun battle with Hamas security forces resulted in the death of 22 people, including six Hamas members. Abdellatif Musa and Khaled Banat are thought to have died soon after.