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IE Insights: Who is Hezballah Terrorist Ibrahim Aqil?

Ibrahim Aqil: A Pivotal Figure in Hezbollah’s Terrorist Activities
April 2023
Ibrahim Aqil, a prominent member of the Lebanese militant group Hizballah, has played a pivotal role in the organization’s terrorist activities for decades. Born in Lebanon in 1962, Aqil has consistently demonstrated unwavering loyalty to the group’s objectives and ideology, which include the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon and the destruction of Israel. Aqil’s involvement with Hizballah dates back to the early 1980s, and he has since become one of the group’s most notorious and influential members.
Hizballah, officially established in 1985, initially emerged as a response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The group has been linked to Iran, which provided Hizballah with financial, military, and logistical support. Aqil is believed to have played a critical role in fostering this relationship, working closely with Iranian officials to coordinate funding and arms shipments for the organization.
Aqil’s military career with Hizballah began in earnest during the 1990s. He rapidly climbed the ranks and eventually became the commander of Hizballah’s elite special forces unit, the “al-Radwan Forces.” Under his leadership, the unit carried out numerous high-profile attacks and assassinations, targeting Israeli, Western, and Lebanese political and military figures. Aqil is believed to have been involved in the planning and execution of several of these attacks, including the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which claimed the lives of 29 people and injured more than 200 others.
Aqil’s notoriety within Hizballah increased significantly during the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hizballah. As a senior military commander, he played a critical role in overseeing the group’s fighting forces and developing strategic plans. The conflict resulted in heavy casualties and significant damage to infrastructure on both sides, with Hizballah managing to inflict substantial losses on the Israeli military. Aqil’s leadership and tactical expertise were credited with contributing to the group’s resilience and success during the conflict.
In the aftermath of the 2006 war, Aqil shifted his focus to Hizballah’s international operations. He is believed to have been involved in the planning and execution of attacks against Israeli and Western interests around the world, including the 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria, which killed six people and injured more than 30 others. Aqil’s role in Hizballah’s global terror network has made him a high-priority target for international intelligence agencies and counterterrorism efforts.
Despite his extensive involvement in terrorist activities, Aqil has managed to maintain a relatively low profile. He is known for his ability to operate in secrecy and evade capture, which has allowed him to continue orchestrating attacks and strengthening Hizballah’s capabilities. This has earned him the nickname “The Ghost” within the organization.
Ibrahim Aqil’s decades-long association with Hizballah and his significant contributions to the group’s terrorist activities have made him a central figure within the organization. His dedication to Hizballah’s cause, combined with his tactical and strategic expertise, has allowed the group to maintain its influence and power in the region. As a key player in Hizballah’s operations, Aqil represents a persistent and serious threat to international security and stability in the Middle East.