Badr Brigade (Iraq)

Country: Iraq
Details of Formation: The Shiite political party SCIRI was created in 1982 Ayatollah Khomeini's direction in Tehran in 1982. In 1983, the Badr Brigade was founded as SCIRI’s official armed wing. SCIRI was then based in Iran and its main goal was to remove the Baathist regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The Badr Brigade became a PGM when SCIRI joined the coalition-backed interim government in 2003 (UCDP).
Details of Termination: The fighting elements of the Badr Brigade were integrated into Iraq’s official army in February 2009. The remaining parts turned into a political organization called the "Badr Organization" that has representation in the Iraqi parliament.
Purpose: The official purpose the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gave the Badr militia was to sweep away the remnants of the dictatorship and to defeat terrorism.
Organisation: After the USA came into Iraq, the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) appointed Badr leaders to key positions in Iraq's army and police and SCIRI members to governor positions. The Badr Brigade received funding from the United States. The Badr Brigade was praised by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The Badr Brigade is linked to the political party Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). SCIRI gained prominence in the government after the 2005 elections. The interior minister had close ties to the Badr Brigade and assigned Badr members to important positions in the ministry, especially in intelligence and commando units. At least six provincial governors were Badr members. The PGM later backed Maliki. The Badr Brigade consisted of infantry, artillery, commando and anti-aircraft units (UCDP).
Weapons and Training: The Badr Brigades received weapons and training from the Iranian government and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (UCDP). It is not clear whether this extended into the period of Badr being a PGM. As of 2004, the Badr Brigade participated in a training program of the US occupation authority.
Size: In the late 1990s, before being a PGM, the Badr Brigade had around 4,000-8,000 fighters. In 2004, the Badr Brigade had around 15,000 fighters.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The Badr Brigade participated in violence against civilians, including torture and killing. The Interior Ministry who controlled the militias committing the violence, among them the Badr Brigade, was involved in these crimes (The Independent 2006). One news source says that the Badr Brigade operated death squads against Sunnis. It is not clear, however, if this included Sunni civilians.
Other Information: Officially, militias were illegal under Iraqi law, but the Badr Brigade could flourish because the US forces declined to crack down on them. The Badr Brigade operated death squads against the Sadr militia. The Badr Brigade renamed at some time Badr Corps. In 2003 it changed its name to Badr Organization of Reconstruction and Development in order to appear less militant. It was often shortened to Badr Organization (UCDP).
References: The Independent. 2006. “Iraq's death squads: On the brink of civil war.” February 26.

Uppsala Conflict Data Program. “SCIRI.”

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD