- This article is about particular organizations known as Islamic Jihad. For the general Islamic idea of jihad as a "holy war," see Jihad.
Islamic Jihad (Arabic: Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami) is a militant Islamist group based in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
It was one of the earliest Islamist militant groups in the Middle East. It first came to prominence with the April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut.
Several groups in other Arab countries also go by the name Islamic Jihad, notably the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In the western world, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the organization usually meant by the term Islamic Jihad, due to the widespread media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The name is also occasionally used by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Islamic Jihad has used teenagers as suicide bombers. On 29 March, 2004, 16-year-old Tamer Havira in Rifidia, an Arab suburb of Nablus was apprehended by Israeli security forces as he prepared to carry out a suicide attack.
Like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and its top leaders have been frequent targets of assassination.